Former NBA star hopes to work for Chinese basketball
Former NBA star Stephon Marbury confirmed Monday on social media that the Beijing Fly Dragons' final game of the season at home on Sunday will be the "final cry" of his 22-year playing career.
"We have one more game in Beijing for the final cry," the 40-year-old wrote on his Sina Weibo account. "Feb 11, 2018 will be the end of the best basketball class ever. I never thought I would be the one to end this amazing class: The tears will be happy tears because we have shared great memories."
Marbury, widely considered the -greatest foreigner to ever play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), left the NBA for the Shanxi Brave Dragons in 2010. One year later he joined the Foshan Dralions, before starting a successful stint with the Beijing Ducks from 2011 to 2017, leading the team to three CBA championships (2012, 2014, 2015) in six seasons. He was named the CBA Foreign MVP in 2013 and CBA -Finals MVP in 2015.
He left the Ducks at the end of last season to join city rivals the Fly Dragons, failing to lead them to this season's playoffs. This season he has played in 34 of the Fly Dragons' 35 games, averaging 15.1 points, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals. Marbury will have three more games to play. The Fly Dragons travel to Ningbo, Zhejiang Province to face the Bayi Rockets on Wednesday, before visiting the Zhejiang Lions in Hangzhou on Friday. On the last game day of the season on Sunday, they host the Jiangsu Dragons.
Marbury thanked the Fly Dragons for having him at the age of 40. "I'm so thankful to Beikong for allowing me to play my last season in Beijing," he wrote. "At the end you gave me my -final wish... I wanted to play basketball at 40 years old in China and it happened. Thank you!"
Marbury said he would like to work for the development of Chinese basketball.
"I will be here forever so I have time to first help the youth," he wrote. "I want to add to China's basketball foundation. I understand the culture and work ethic because I'm a part of it in all ways. I'm teaching the next generation of what's most important for me, not just coaching."
He has said that he would be happy to work for the Chinese national basketball team if invited.
According to the Beijing Youth -Daily, Marbury would like to coach a CBA team, but it seems he won't get an offer at this time.
Chinese fans expressed their love and gratitude for Marbury under his Weibo posts.
"Love your speed, your spirit, and your endeavor. With all respect to you, Lao Ma, wish you best my friend," commented a fan.
"You're the greatest player ever in the CBA," wrote another.
Another fan said he will try his best to get to watch Marbury's final game, writing, "I'll try my best to get a ticket to see your Happy Tears!!!!!!"
During his 13-year career in the NBA, Marbury played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New Jersey Nets, the Phoenix Suns, the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.