Former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury revitalized his career in China and won three CBA titles with the Beijing Ducks. Marbury retired at the end of last season and has now accepted a job as the new head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters.

Stephon Marbury China
Former NBA star Stephon Marbury playing for the Beijing Ducks of the CBA in China. (Image: Chen Shuhao/Newscom)

Marbury went a long way from being a kid in Brooklyn to a global superstar in China. He played nine seasons with the Chinese Basketball Association. After winning his first title with the Beijing Ducks, the team erected a statue of him in front of the stadium.

He originally signed with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons in 2010. He also played for Foshan Dralions, Beijing Ducks, and the Beijing Fly Dragons.

Marbury retired from the CBA in 2018. He expressed interest in remaining in China to coach full time. The Beijing Royal Fighters quickly snatched him up.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” Marbury posted on his social media account at Weibo. “I will give everything I have on the sidelines just like I gave everything inside the Lines. The end is another start, I am back, are you with me?”

He also said he would coach the Chinese national team if Yao Ming wanted him.

Jimmer Fredette returned to the NBA at the end of this season after lighting it up for the Beijing Fly Dragons.

Starbury Rises… and Crashes

Stephon Marbury is one of the most noteworthy NYC high school basketball players. He’s also a playground legend that became immortalized in “The Last Shot” by Darcy Frey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Marbury with the fourth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech. Marbury was one of the first one-and-done players that went to the NBA after only one season in college.

The Wolves were a new franchise that had a great start with Marbury and Kevin Garnett. However, Marbury hated the snow and cold. He wanted out of Minnesota badly, which rubbed many people the wrong way including NBA executives and members of the media.

After almost a decade in the NBA with the Timberwolves, Nets, and Suns, Marbury returned home to New York City to play for the NY Knicks.

Marbury washed out of the NBA after a meltdown with the New York Knicks in 2009. Marbury fell out of favor with head coach Mike D’Antoni and he buried him deep on the bench.

China Rebirth

Marbury got a second chance at life with the Brave Dragons. He averaged 22 points in a short stint and became a cult hero overnight.

He later played for the Foshan Dralions before joining the Beijing Ducks. Marbury felt at home in Beijing because parts of it reminded him of New York City.

Marbury and the Ducks won three CBA titles. The city and country became obsessed with Marbury. He gained super-celebrity status. He’s the only celeb to earn a permanent residence card and he’s the only American with green card status in China.

Chinese filmmakers also produced a film title “My Other Home” about Marbury’s migration to China.

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