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It will be all-out war the next time my team, the Beijing Ducks, goes head-to-head against Shanxi Brave Dragons.
This epic battle will be Game 5, and the victor will win our CBA semifinal matchup, which is tied at 2-2.
We had a chance to clinch this 5-game playoff series on Sunday night. We were up 3 points on Shanxi with less a minute in the game.
Then, there was a no-call when a Shanxi player went to the basket.
The fans got mad, and they began throwing water bottles and lighters at my teammates and I.
I couldn't believe this. Yes, I had experienced opposing fans throwing stuff at us before while on their home basketball court. But, I never thought this would happen during a CBA semifinal game.
I would never hit a fan and the guy who claimed that I kicked and hit him mistaken me for the police. That experience was just that an experience. I would rather leave it at that. Sorry, but I’m going to let this die with time.
I guess Shanxi fans wanted to make sure they had a say in deciding the outcome of the game, and they did as we lost by 2 points, 102-100.
They beat us in the first game of this series. But we beat them the next two. I scored 52 points in Game 2, which was a career CBA playoff high for me. Then, I followed up in Game 3 by scoring 53 points! They won Game 4.
Now, Game 5 will be played on our home court! It will be a win-or-go-home situation for Shanxi and us. We don't want our season to end just yet. We know our hearts and minds will once again be tested in this series. That is why we plan to bring our A-Game on Wednesday night.
Most players love these moments as this is what playing basketball is all about.
Man, these games are so much fun, so challenging. They're so intense. They are super physical, and emotions are running at an all-time high. Each possession counts. And I never count out the sixth man, which is the fans, who can make or break a game.
I also know that we will need each and every one of our fans to show up to this deciding semifinal game.
Hopefully, you will also show your team spirit by sporting your "Love Is Love" Starbury white T-shirt or just wearing a plain white tee.
Our next home game is big! If we win, we play the Guangdong Tigers for the CBA Championship. We want so badly for our storybook start to have the same type of ending.
Either way, it has been an amazing experience playing with my teammates during these tough games throughout the season, especially in the playoffs.
It feels like we have grown much closer in the past few months. Most importantly, we have gained each other's trust.
We know that for us to win it all we must trust one another because we are at war now. We have to believe and have true faith in each other's abilities, not just as players, but as people too.
That's why I am sure we will play our hearts out as a team in Game 5 and leave everything on the court.
Hopefully, that will be enough for us to win the game and the series.
Please pray that we do.
Love is love.
Stephon Marbury can be reached at email@example.com
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