“I'm forever indebted to Chinese basketball, to China for not only showing me the love but at the time when I needed it. I needed to be picked up during that time of my life; that's when China did that for me,” Stephon Marbury said.
Marbury was 35 years old when he came to China, no longer the inarticulate young man that he was when he first entered the NBA. After experiencing ups and downs professionally, Marbury had matured tremendously by then and his desire for victory was even stronger. This was transmitted to his fellow players not just by words, but by actions.
On February 11, 2018, Marbury officially ended his 22-year playing career. “Basketball is a way of life,” he says. “It's a way to communicate, to allow people to understand who you are from your character and how hard you work. People do things the way how China has done for me. The love has to be reciprocated. It has to be back and forth, and that's what it is. It's truly real.”