August 19, 2010
Say what you want about Stephon Marbury(notes) — that he's Looney Tunes, that he eats Vaseline on the reg, that he is completely delusional about most things in his life, whatever — but it must be admitted that his Starbury clothing and shoe line has been a success outside of one notable ankle explosion. He got decent footwear and clothing to kids for not a lot of money, and that's pretty cool. Furthermore, his post-NBA career in China has given him an entirely new opportunity to sell his signature line. Good looks.
And things are about to get even better for Marbury. As mentioned a few weeks back, Marbury's new contract in China calls for three Starbury shops, financed by the team. That's big news on its own, but Steph has even bigger plans. From the New York Post's Marc Berman:
[Stephon] Marbury's got a bigger goal: to one day own a team in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Marbury, the former Lincoln superstar out of Coney Island, is all-in on his investment in China, citing the 350 million people who play basketball there and the country last week leaping past Japan as the world's second-biggest economy.
"The NBA has deals to build arenas in China,'' Marbury told The Post. "It just takes time. Owning and investing there, how can I go wrong business-wise?''
Marbury signed a three-year deal to play again for Shanxi that includes a coaching stint starting next season. The most important part of the deal is his club will finance the opening of three Starbury stores in the city.
"It's all Starbury stuff. Like you go to a Nike store, it's going to be Starbury,'' said Marbury, who has his logo tattooed to his head. "In Year Five, my goal is to have 150 stores.''
OK, so "How can I go wrong business-wise?" might be a little bit of a famous last words kind of thing, but this is still a nice move. There are so many people in China and they're all apparently crazy for Stephon Marbury-branded stuff. Opening up Starbury stores seems like a no-brainer. I hope it works out for him, even if 150 shops seems like overkill.
Also, can you even fathom Stephon Marbury owning a basketball team in any league? Would that not be the most amazing thing ever? He'd be like Mark Cuban crossed with the Maloofs crossed with Bam Bam Bigelow. Just think of the head tattoo possibilities. Please make it happen, China.