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The feeling of winning a championship in the Chinese Basketball Association transcends everything else, so that Stephon Marbury is not going anywhere, even back to the US, as long as the Beijing Ducks feel the same.
"I want to stay here. I have no desire to play in the NBA," said the team's star guard on Saturday afternoon in an interview with Sina.com.cn.
"I want to retire in the CBA," he added, all smiles.
He was asked if he would consider going back to the US if an NBA team offered a contract to the two-time All-Star player, who averaged 33.4 points and 6.2 assists to lead the Ducks past the reigning Guangdong S Tigers, 4-1 in the CBA Finals.
The atmosphere at MasterCard Center, which houses 18,000 spectators, was much better than in the NBA, according to Marbury, who played 12 seasons in the world's top basketball league.
"It's not even close," he said. "Fans are amazing. They keep you going. The atmosphere the game is played in is phenomenal. They give you the energy that you need as an athlete to play."
Besides the winning odds and the harmonious off-court ties with his teammates, Marbury revealed that Chinese culture played a big part in his decision to stay.
"I'm happy to be part of the Beijing culture. It's a beautiful feeling to be loved," he said.
He has become the latest example of a foreigner integrating himself in China. He takes subways to training, he cheers for Beijing Guo'an soccer team, he attends cross-talk shows despite only a tenuous grasp of them.
Chinese fans welcome the US guest in return with crazy enthusiasm. Marbury is followed by more than 310,000 people on Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like Internet service. He's also got a new nickname "Ma Zheng Wei", literally meaning commissar, to describe how well he has blended into the country.
"Everybody calls me 'Ma Zheng Wei' now," he said. "I love that name way better than 'lonely wolf'."
The mudslide occurred at an iron ore mine in the Araltobe township of Xinyuan county, Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, a spokesman for the prefecture's fire brigade said.