OK, in the overall scheme of things, Coney Island product Stephon Marbury winning his first title since high school might seem less impressive than say, actually winning an NBA playoff series. But considering the marketing stunt-vibes many of us caught from Marbury’s recent seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association, who’d begrudge Marc Berman’s greatest source of material for what sounds like a happy ending? Despite averaging 33.4 and 6 assists points for Beijing in the 5 game CBA finals defeat of Guangdong, Marbury was denied the playoff MVP trophy due to a rule that limits said award to Chinese players, a circumstance Sheridan Hoops’ Guan Weijia claims fails to trouble Mike D’Antoni’s former nemesis.
“This is the league of Chinese, it was reasonable that they wanna to issue the MVP to Chinese players. I did not care for the MVP trophy, but did for the championship. That’s what I have dreamed about for years since my childhood,” the 35-year-old Marbury said.
“I was standing on the opposite side of the whole world,” Marbury said of his move to China three years ago. “There wasn’t anybody who believed in me in the U.S., they all said something just like: ‘He wouldn’t pass the ball to anyone on the court’, or ‘He wasn’t able to integrate into any team’. So I didn’t tell them that I had decided to play in China, because I know if they were informed of it, there shouldn’t be any positive report. They would say: “He just wants to sell his shoes in China.’ ”
But in China, Stephon was popular for his professional demeanor as he was for his two All-Star appearances. Said Li Ke, Marbury’s former teammate who is now a coach: “Many American players who have played in NBA were arrogant in China, they would have been absent on the training sessions for multiple reasons. But Stephon won’t, he will try his best every time.”
Marbury coined a nickname “Evil Genius” for his head coach, Min Lulei: “Because every time he said the training will last for 90 minutes, in fact it would be at least two hours.”