“It’s the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame,” Marbury said. “So, for basketball, I played in Olympics, I played in the Junior Olympics. With what I’ve done and given to basketball is all Hall of Fame.”
After 22 seasons in professional basketball, former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury is ready to end his career.
In an interview with Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Marbury — who plays for the Beijing Fly Dragons of the China Basketball Association — said he is ready to hang up his sneakers after the team’s February 11 season finale. With the Fly Dragons out of the CBA’s postseason race, Marbury’s last game could be nine days short of his 41st birthday.
“I’m tired, man. I’m tired. I played 22 years,” Marbury said to Spears. “It’s all good. I’m straight with how it is right now. I like being able to have control over going out the way I want to go out. I’m 100 percent at peace with it. One hundred percent.”
Marbury said he will stay in shape in case an NBA opportunity arises.
In mid-September, Marbury announced via Instagram that he was interested in an NBA comeback. However, he received no interest from NBA teams and signed a one-year deal with the Fly Dragons, a crosstown rival of the Beijing Ducks, the team Marbury spent six seasons with (2011-2017) and led to three CBA championships.
Marbury, the fourth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, spent 13 seasons in NBA, earning three-All Star nods. The Brooklyn, New York, native suited up for the Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Knicks, and Celtics.
For his career, Marbury averaged 19.3 PPG, 7.6 APG and 3.0 RPG in 846 games.
A tumultuous end to his NBA career with the Knicks and Nets led Marbury to China, becoming the first major name to play professionally in the country. In addition to three championships with the Ducks, Marbury was also the 2015 CBA Finals Most Valuable Player. Marbury’s popularity in China earned him honors such as becoming the first foreign celebrity to receive a Chinese green card and a statue outside the Ducks’ arena.
Marbury feels his numbers in the NBA and in China are deserving of enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame as an international player. Marbury said playing in China is harder than most people understand, adding that he helped “bridge the gap” for professional basketball between the two nations.