Stephon Marbury’s Chinese Basketball Association sojourn has been a relative success story thus far. The former All-Star was more or less cast out of the NBA in 2009 during what should have been some fruitful years in his early-30s, as his play and behavior fell off significantly during his last few seasons with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Desperate for a gig, he hooked up with the CBA and even won a title in 2012 with the Beijing Ducks. The city and team responded by building Steph a statue, in his championship pose, soon after, and he’s had a relatively incident-free run with the Ducks in the years since.
A recent game against the Shandong Flaming Bulls, however, wasn’t exactly an exercise in goodwill and international civic-mindedness. A Flaming Bull, Wu Ke, took exception to Marbury elbowing Sui Ran on his way to the basket for a layup, a scuffle ensued, and Marbury was eventually ejected from the game, and literally locked off the court.
Bedard reports that the fans in Beijing began to chant inappropriate words in the referee’s direction following his ejecting, as Marbury was strangely whistled for a technical for his apparent elbow on the way to the rim in the play against Sui Ran. He received a second technical after the melee. From Beijing Cream:
I was right there under the basket, and it was madness. From my vantage point, it threatened at times to get out of control.
Fans become all the more aggravated when officials announce that Marbury has been ejected from the game. He was assessed a technical foul on the initial drive to the hoop (a confusing, terrible call), then another technical for throwing a punch.
There’s more to this story: while officials were sorting out free throws, Shandong forward Donnell Harvey engaged Marbury’s trainer in a bit of trash talk, with the two apparently agreeing to meet after the game to throw down.
Donnell Harvey, you’ll recall, is a former Florida forward and a first round pick of the New York Knicks in 2000. He has played for five NBA teams, one NBDL team, and 11 different international teams in the 13 years since.
Bedard relayed that angry fans blocked the buses of both teams following the Ducks’ 99-95 win.
Seems a bit overreact-y on all sides, no?
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