Stephon Marbury is known as the Bad Boy of the NBA. From his widely known fights with his coaches and players gave him a bad name in the NBA. He took a year off and went to China.
China is where he rediscovered himself and his love for basketball. This Coney Island prodigy found himself in the limelight of the CBA. He is widely considered the greatest foreign player to play in the Chinese Basketball Association. He has thrived in the CBA. Winning multiple Championships, All-Star appearances, and MVP. All things we will talk about later. Once he was one of the polarizing players in the NBA, both hated and loved everywhere he went. become the most beloved person in the CBA.
We will go through his life and discover some of the things that weren't talked about as he played. Here is the Bad Boy of the NBA.
15 Co-Author of a Book
In 2007 Stephon co-authored a book with Marshall Dean and it was illustrated by Ryan Nakai.
In the book, they write about a nine-year old “Young Starbury” who missed two crucial free-throws. Those two would have assisted his team in winning their season opener against their arch-rivals. Through some guidance of his older brother, he should perfect his game through practice. In the end, after hours and hours of practice, he receives an opportunity to beat that same team, and this time it is for the Championship! He did not write this book for its profits.
He donated all the proceeds to charity! The book did fairly well in the market which may seem like a surprise but hey, it seems people were interested in this story.
14 His Father Died During A Game
Marbury’s father, Don, died during a game on December 2, 2007, between the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns.
He was actually attending the game when he was taken from the arena by an ambulance because of chest pains. After the game the team kept the locker room closed for about a half an hour as they allowed the players to take it in as they were all in shock. Marbury was allowed to not address the media that night but as he left he shouted at someone, “Jesus, that’s how.” On the night he scored 21 points dished out four assists and played 38 minutes. Ultimately they lost the game 115-104 thanks, large-in-part to Grant Hill and Amari Stoudemire scored 28 points apiece.
This was a rough overall month for Stephon as he also lost his early coach and mentor, Robert Williams, on November 13th and his aunt Helen Thomas also died on November 19th.
13 Has Donated Over $6 Million To Charity
You read that correctly. He has donated over $6,000,000 dollars in charitable efforts.
After the horrible attacks on September 11, he donated half a million dollars to the victims. He took the money straight from his own Pepsi sponsorships. In 2005 he donated 1 million dollars to the Hurricane Katrina victims, and that was an absolutely devastating natural disaster. In 2007 Marbury donated $1,000,000 to the New York Police Department, Fire Department of New York, the Emergency Medical Teams in New York, and the New York City Teacher’s fund. So that’s $4,000,000 total to the city of New York. All that plus every penny for the book he wrote went to charity as well.
For the “Bad Boy of the NBA”, he was certainly a giving and caring guy.
12 He Sold His Shoes For $15 Dollars
It was in 2006 that Marbury partnered with Steve & Barry’s to promote his own shoes and clothing bearing his own nickname, “Starbury.”
He was very adamant on only selling his shoes for $14.98, way less than other-other shoe line out there. He did this so that kids could wear his shoes. Unlike LaVar Ball, he wanted people to be able to afford his shoes. Since the partnership, not because of Marbury, the company has since had to file for bankruptcy. Since it closed he need a place to sell the shoes so he opened Starbury.com to sell his shoes and got a partnership with Amazon to sell his expanded product line. Since he is such a star in China, he is going to open dozens of stores and a distributor in China.
He has also reached out to reached out to the Big Baller Brand for a partnership in China.
11 He Is A Resident Of China
In 2015, Stephon applied for and received a Chinese green card, also known as a permanent residence permit.
He is one of five American basketball players to receive such a green card. Marbury has been very well received by the Chinese community. He has been quoted as crediting his success in life to the Chinese culture which he described as, “filled with love, compassion, and care.” He has talked about how happy the Chinese teams have made him. How he was so surprised that they had decent shooting abilities. Even though there were such a large language barrier and cultural one.
He did learn the language and the people there just adore him. That’s why he was granted residence in the country.
10 He Is A Three-Time Champion In China
That’s three more championships than he won in the NBA. All three of them were won on the Beijing Ducks.
The first one came in 2012. He led the team to start the season with a 13-0 record. Over the course of the season, they added 8 more wins to his team and that earned them the second seed in the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, he faced the Zhejiang Lions and swept them 3-0 in a best-of-five series. That led to them facing the Shanxi brave dragons. He bested them in a 3-2 series win which led the Ducks to their first ever finals. In those finals, he faced the 7-time champions Guangdong Southern Tigers. The ducks won 4-1 in best-of-seven. This gave the ducks to their first ever championship.
After that, he won with the ducks in 2014 and 2015. But the 2012 series is the most memorable one.
9 He Won TWO MVP Trophies For The CBA
Marbury won both the foreign MVP and the CBA Finals MVP. In the 2012-13 season, he was named the foreign MVP.
This reward was really well deserved as he earned 29.5 points per game that year. He also managed to grab 4.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Just really great numbers that he was able to earn for the Beijing Ducks. Unfortunately, he was not able to keep it going in the playoffs that year so he could not bring home another championship. However, the next two years he was able to bring home the championship and it was in 2015 he was able to capture the CBA Finals MVP. In those playoffs, he was able to average 24.6 points, 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
He also played an astounding 38.8 minutes per game despite the fact that he was 38 at the time. That is insane, way to go out there and earn your trophies Stephon.
8 He Has A Statue In China
After his first season with the Beijing Ducks, after leading them to their first championship, he received a statue.
That statue was placed on the lawn of the MasterCard Center, which was the home of the 2008 Olympic basketball arena, in Beijing. You think the ducks were happy about winning their first championship. During that seasons he had averages of 25 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.2 steals. He was so well received by the ducks, and this was only his 3rd season in the CBA. It is crazy that he got the statue then played 3 more seasons for the ducks. That's how you know that you are being well received by the crowd.
It must have been so weird for him to just be driving around and seeing a statue of him, and then have to go play.
7 He Played In A Musical
In 2014, Marbury appeared in the 2014 musical "I Am Marbury."
The show plot is about a couple of street musicians from Beijing who end up making it big time in the music industry. There are of course many obstacles on the way that need to be overcome. It is an everybody story and truly directed toward the dreamers in the crowd. So, where does Marbury fit in? Great question! He doesn't! He only comes in at the grand finale where he is displayed less of a character and more of an idea that underdogs can triumph. His highlights are; high-fiving everyone, fist-bumping a dude in a Tennessee Tuxedo, doing some weird Michael Jackson dance, losing his dribble on the basketball, and a part where he is apparently a wizard?
There is a line in the play the effectively goes, "I am Marbury. We are Marbury. We are connected." The people of Beijing really ate this up, because they love their Marbury.
6 He Averaged 40 Points In A Chinese Playoff Series
He put the team on his back and said that he is going to take them to the CBA Finals no matter what.
He opens the series against the Shanxi Brave Dragons by scoring 42 points. Very impressive numbers but his team ended up losing this game 122-119. Just didn't have enough to push his team over the top. He came back in Game 2 and scored a whopping 52 points tying the series at a game apiece. In Game 3 he knew he was going to need something similar to win so he came out and scored 53 points and took a 2-1 series lead. In Game 4 he did not have as much left only scoring 25 points and the team lost 102-100. The last game in the series, win or go home, he came out and scored 30 points and had 8 assists to lead his team to an 110-108 series victory.
Overall he averaged 40.4 points and won the best out of 5 series. This sent the Ducks to their first ever CBA Finals where they won their first Championship.
5 Named top 10 Model Citizen in Bejing
In 2014 he was named a Top 10 Model Citizen for Beijing.
He earned this due to his unrelenting commitment to the community and the charity work that he had provided. If it is doing to help victims of the disaster of just giving some of his apparel away or the work that he had done for the kids of Beijing, he was doing so the best way that he could. This is before he actually became a permanent resident of the country. Yet his efforts will still so great that he was able to receive a reward that was meant to show who was one of the best citizens, and he wasn't even a citizen. The Bad Boy of the NBA Strikes again!
He became the first international citizen to earn the honor since its inception by the Beijing government.
4 Made The CBA All-Star Team Every Year
All 6 years that he played in China he made the CBA All-Star team.
It makes sense when you consider the career averages he had in the league. He scored an average of 22.6 points. He grabbed an average of 4.7 rebounds. He dished out 6.3 assists and his first year he had an average of 9.5 assists. He stole the ball 1.8 times per game. He shot 51.9% from the field and 40.5% from three. these numbers are astronomically high. They all exceed his NBA averages where he only made the All-Star team twice in his 15-year career. The only thing he averaged better in the NBA than he did in the CBA was his assists numbers and even then it was only 1.3 higher than his CBA average.
He won the All-Star MVP in 2010 while he was playing for the Foshan Dralions.
3 Will Be Staring In His Own Autobiographical Movie, My Other Home
In 2016, it had been confirmed that Marbury would be starring in his own autobiographical movie titled, "My Other Home."
This is an upcoming Chinese-American sports film. It is going to be directed by Yang Zi and is Produced by Huang Jianxin. Stephon Marbury will be starting himself in the film. The plot is a fairly simple one. Stephon Marbury after his fall from grace in the NBA and his depression rediscovers himself in the CBA. It is going to have some NBA legends in it such as Allen Iverson and Baron Davis. It will also have the Chinese star of Jessica Jung, who will play Marbury's agent. Other cast members will be Wu Chun, Godfrey Gao, and Sunny Wang.
The filming began on April 26, 2017, in Beijing's LeSports Center. It is scheduled to be released in China in August of 2017.
2 The Movie He Got Game Is Based On His Life
It takes the same rough outline that Stephon Marbury took to get to the NBA.
Both men grew up in Coney Island and went to Abraham High School. Both of them were top recruits for college ball. While the parts of his father killing his mom, and the corrupt governor was made-up. There were many tempting offers from schools in order to bring him in and give his brothers coaching jobs. The movies are loosely based on his coming up story though.
Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett were both briefly considered for the role however, Spike Lee passed when the management for them wanted a guaranteed off for the part once they agreed to audition. Lee gave the role to Ray Allen and made millions of dollars off the story.
1 He Was Depressed And Suicidal
This could be pointed to a time when Marbury live-stream himself crying and eating vaseline claiming that he was just looking for a home remedy for a "sore throat." A blind man could see through that.
His life was spiraling out of control as his NBA career was running toward a halt. Everything that happened with the Knicks, his father dying, and the Starbury branch slowly dying. He felt trapped. Trapped in his thoughts about how he felt about how he felt he was being treated. His wife said he would isolate himself in his room and eat fruity pebbles all day. He admits he was clinically depressed and suicidal at this point in his life. He wanted to kill himself and it wasn't because of the basketball, but because of how depressed he was. He had hit rock bottom.
As you can tell from this article he turned his life around. He made a new home in China. They loved him in China and he saw no reason to return to the country that hates him. He finally found a home.