Thu Jul 29 02:15pm EDT
I don't know about you, but I've been on pins and needles waiting to hear what is going to become of Stephon Marbury(notes) this coming basketball season. As a former owner of his And 1 shoes, I have a somewhat vested interest in his career choices. Furthermore, Starbury coming back to the NBA is a lot better for blogging than if he were to stay in China. Fortunately for everyone's sleep habits, it seems we have come to the end of this saga.
Looks like we're going to have to get used to infrequent dispatches from the Far East, because Marbury's staying in the land of striped gold jerseys. From the Associated Press:
Former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury has agreed to three more years with a Chinese basketball team, whose owners will set up a company to produce and sell his line of athletic apparel and shoes, the team said Thursday. [...]
Marbury, 33, will play two more years and may be asked to become an assistant coach in the third, Shanxi said in an announcement on its website. His salary will be the same as last season, which was never publicly announced, but team owner Wang Xingjiang had said he offered Marbury $100,000 to play half a season in China.
As part of the deal, the ownership of Shanxi Zhongyu will create a company to produce and sell apparel and shoes from the point guard's "Starbury" brand. The company will also open three Starbury shops, though details have not been decided, the team said.
Wow. Basketball, three stores to sell his shoes, and a coaching job is a pretty sweet deal. When you're getting that kind of hook-up, who cares if the Miami Heat never called back? Though I must warn the citizens of China about the dangers of wearing Starbury's shoes to play basketball. Be careful.
Horrific, athleticism-robbing ankle injuries aside, this is perfect for Marbury. He gets to play exactly how he likes, people in China are crazy for him and he'll sell a crazy amount of shoes. There's nothing else he could want, except for a jar of Vaseline to eat but he probably has a case in storage. So good for him. It's too bad us Westerners won't get to enjoy his insanity on the reg, but at least we'll get a yearly video of his half-court threes and alley-hoops. That'll work.