In a move that will come to surprise some, Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association is reporting that Stephon “Starbury” Marbury will sign a three year deal with the team.
According to ESPN:
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 also will open three Starbury shops, though details have not been decided, the team said.
If you were confused as to why Starbury would choose to sign with a team in the CBA that 95% of the world has never heard of instead of joining the South Beach NWO (shout-out to Rob), all you have to do is read the last two paragraphs above.
Marbury is surely worth more than the expected $200k he’s going to be making in China, so he’s banking on Starbury success to make him back the money he could have gotten in the NBA.
Call him a crazy, vaseline-eating, u-stream whoring, self-consumed basketball player, but the man is positioning himself to have an icon-like status in China. His best basketball days might be behind him, but nobody in the CBA has the NBA cred or name-recognition that Starbury does, and it looks like he’s going to take advantage of that.
If he ever came back to the NBA there’s no way in hell you would ever see a Starbury store, unless he opened one up in his garage, so the move is actually a really smart one for Marbury.
Although this probably causes people to question whether or not he really cares about basketball, he obviously doesn’t care. Let’s not forget this is a guy who made over $20 million a couple years ago while sitting most of the season. Let’s just hope that this move is more about brand-marketing and not Starbury being broke as a joke like a lot of other NBA players end up.
He might never be taken seriously as a basketball player again, but if Starbury plays his cards right he could become an icon in China. It’s better than sitting at home eating vaseline, right?
Belal Abdelfattah comes from a long background in sports writing at the Sports Authority Blog and The Block Radio. You can check out his weekly radio show OSD Radio at http://tinyurl.com/OSDRadio or follow Belal on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/belal_a