Stephon Marbury to play basketball in China

Remember former NBA guard Stephon Marbury? Before he started doing wacky stuff on the internet and arguing with “haters” for seemingly 17 hours a day while reminding web users that “love is love” nearly every minute, he was a very good NBA player.

Not quite as good as his stats suggest. There were issues of bad chemistry, bad attitudes and not making teammates better. Still, Marbury was talented, exciting to watch, and occasionally spectacular and unguardable.

Before falling out of the NBA after years on the New York Knicks and a quick stint on the Boston Celtics, Marbury had made several mentions of wanting to play overseas; specifically Italy.

I’ve learned over the years that tons of overseas reports tend to jump the gun. And there are often language barriers and translation issues. So right now there are two reports. One seems to suggest Marbury will sign. The other says he may do it, but nothing is done.

Until it’s confirmed (hopefully by Marbury himself) that he’s really signing in China, these should just be considered reports on what may happen.

Reuters reports:

Twice NBA All Star point guard Stephon Marbury will become the highest profile American to play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) after he agreed to join China’s Shanxi Club.

The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving the Boston Celtics last season, had agreed a deal with the northern club and would arrive in Shanxi next week, the team announced on their official website (www.sxcba.com).

“The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games in the rest of the season,” said Shanxi boss Wang Xingjiang.

AFP reports:

After bringing in NBA bad boy Bonzi Wells last season, Shanxi Zhongyu of the China Basketball Association are seeking to land former disgruntled New York Knick Stephon Marbury, the team said Monday.

“Marbury will come next week. We want to sign him and we want him to play for us,” club general manager Zhang Beihai told AFP by phone.

“When he arrives we will sit down and talk. Right now it is not clear if he wants to sign. After we talk we will make a decision.”

Assuming he’s kept in shape, Marbury should be able to destroy the competition. Which would be fun to keep track of.

InsideHoops.com will keep you updated.