The Chinese Basketball Association's Beijing Ducks announced Stephon Marbury's departure on Friday, terminating his two-year contract due to the dispute of Marbury's role and salary in the next season.
The contract included a team option for Marbury as a player or an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season. After several rounds of negotiations, Marbury turned down the assistant coach offer, insisting to play for another season before the team decided to terminate the contract.
Marbury wrote a letter to fans on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. In the letter, Marbury explained why he refused to become an assistant coach.
"First, the team did not decide who would be the head coach, apparently the team is in a rebuilding progress. Coach Min who led this team to [three championships] might not be the head coach anymore which makes it hard for me to accept the offer of becoming an assistant coach," said Marbury.
On Feb. 25, Marbury said he wished to retire at the end of the 2017-2018 season, but the club had concerns over his age and health. In the letter, Marbury indicated that he will still play in the CBA for the next season.
"I appreciate them allowing me to keep competing and winning in this great league the CBA. I have not decided which team yet...but there is one thing I'm 100% sure of no matter the team I play for the love between me and the club is always there, we will keep working with each other in the future," wrote Marbury.
After joining the Beijing Ducks in 2011, Marbury brought the team three championships and became a hero in China's capital with a museum and a statue in honor of him unveiled in downtown Beijing. This season, Marbury played 36 games, averaging 21.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds.
At the end of the letter, Marbury wrote: "Of course the fans of Beijing who gave me my second life, thank you so much as always. LOVE is LOVE."