Coach Stephon Marbury? Yes. It happened in Beijing.
Stephon Marbury is a basketball hero in Beijing — he helped his team, the Beijing Ducks — win a Chinese Basketball Association title. He has a statue of him in the city.
And now he’s a coach there.The Ducks have been bounced from the CBA playoffs but Marbury will stick with the team and coach them in the national games coming up in the summer, reports the fantastic blog Niubbal.com that covers the Chinese League (via SLAM).
In an interview on BTV, the 36 year-old guard announced that he will serve as an assistant coach for Beijing as they prepare to participate in the 2013 China National Games. He will work under his CBA head coach Min Lulei, who serves the same position for the Beijing Ducks.
The National Games, which happen once every four years, are completely separate from the Chinese Basketball Association season. As a sort of intra-China Olympics, the National Games pit the country’s different provinces against each other in various athletic events, including basketball.
Yes, Stephon Marbury the coach. Things that would never have happened with the Knicks include….
This is just a summer gig then Marbury will play for the Ducks next season, but he can’t in these games. The team from Beijing will not just be the Ducks Chinese players, but also will have players from other Beijing teams combined to represent the city. Among those players is Sun Yue, one of the best Chinese players (he played for the Lakers for a season back in 2009).
Read the article on Niubbal.com about the China National Games, which are important because a province doing well in them can help local government officials climb the party ladder to positions of power. It’s all tied to politics.
For Marbury, it’s a first step on the coaching ladder. Which seems strange, but the man has re-invented himself over there. More power to him.