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Marbury the man for Ducks

Updated: 2015-03-24 08:11
By Agencies In Beijing (China Daily)

"Ma Zhengwei" Stephon Marbury on Sunday led the Beijing Ducks to their second straight Chinese Basketball Association title and third overall championship since he joined the team.

The former NBA star was voted the CBA finals MVP after a 106-98 victory over the Liaoning Leopards in the title-clinching Game 6.

Marbury had a roller-coaster NBA career in which he was twice an All-Star.

The 38-year-old is an unrivaled fan favorite in Beijing and has said he plans to stay in China after retiring and hopes to coach the national team.

"Someone said I am old. Am I?" he said in a post-game TV interview in the Ducks locker room. He finished with 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds on the night he claimed his first finals MVP. He averaged 29.7 points per game in the series.

"Stephon deserves the award," said Beijing coach Min Lulei.

"He is the one and only. I hope he can continue playing like this next season."

Marbury has filled a big role in his three title runs, but not by being the furious tyro of his early years. By the time he arrived in Beijing he was 32 and had played for two Chinese teams in as many seasons.

Beijing wanted Marbury as much as he wanted Beijing. The Ducks needed a certain type of point guard, an experienced ball handler, to execute Min's strategy.

His younger Chinese teammates jokingly gave him a Chinese military position - "Zhengwei" - whose work includes education, discipline, inspection and uniting officers and troops.

Marbury gives orders on court and offers advice and encouragement off it.

"So thankful Beijing gave me the opportunity to play in the Capital of CHINA. The memories will live in me throughout my history of living, #Love is love#" he wrote on his Twitter-like Weibo account.

 

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