Stephon Marbury reflected on his success in China and his tumultuous tenure with the New York Knicks during an interview with ESPN's The Undefeated.
Marbury, a Brooklyn native, was traded to his hometown Knicks in 2004. His five-year stint with the club included clashes with coaches and teammates -- and few wins. It ended with Marbury and the Knicks agreeing on a buyout in 2009.
The 39-year-old discussed the final weeks of his Knicks tenure and many other topics in the conversation with The Undefeated, which airs on SportsCenter Thursday and can be found here.
He called his time in New York the “toughest” stretch of his 19-year career.
“So much turmoil was going on,” Marbury said in the interview. "[Then Knicks head coach] Mike D’Antoni had chose to bring in Chris Duhon and he said that he was going in another direction. I was told that I was going to have an opportunity to play. I worked extremely hard throughout that time and the first game that we were playing, I was sitting on the bench.”
Marbury recalled that the crowd at Madison Square Garden was chanting “We want Steph!” in the game.
Marbury didn’t know whether the directive to sit him came from management or D’Antoni. Marbury never stepped on the court for the Knicks that season and he and the organization eventually agreed to a buyout.
“Leaving New York, I knew that was going to be a difficult challenge,” he said.
The Coney Island native eventually ended up in the Chinese Basketball Association, winning three titles with the Beijing Ducks. There is a statue of Marbury in Beijing, as well as a museum honoring his basketball career, as detailed in The Undefeated’s story.
The piece documents Marbury's triumphs in China after struggling with personal demons at the end of his NBA career. It’s worth your time.