Marbury to make $25,000 a month in China

After earning nearly $22 million in the NBA last season, Stephon Marbury(notes) has taken a substantial pay cut to play in the Chinese Basketball Association: $25,000 per a month, a source familiar with the deal told Yahoo! Sports.

Before agreeing to the deal with Shanxi Zhongyu, Marbury had turned down a few European overtures during the summer, a source said, including bids by two Greek teams. Maccabi Tel Aviv had interest but never made a formal offer. The Boston Celtics were willing to bring Marbury back in the spring, but Marbury believed offers of $8 million to $10 million annually would eventually come over the summer.

Top teams in Europe had the same fears the NBA did: After Marbury spent the summer live-streaming his bizarre behavior on the Internet, teams feared he had lost his mind. Nevertheless, most believe Marbury’s talents haven’t entirely eroded after 13 seasons.

Shanxi has lost 10 of 13 games and sits in 12th place in the 17-team CBA. The team insisted the 32-year-old Marbury was willing to play the rest of the season for a chance to market his Starbury shoe and clothing apparel line.

“Marbury’s salary is not an astronomical figure because by coming here he also hopes to open up the Chinese market and sell his shoes,” Shanxi executive Wang Xingjiang said.

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Updated Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010