Stephon Marbury added another chapter to his post-NBA career as he led his Beijing Ducks to a third CBA Championship with a Game 6 win over the Liaoning Flying Leopards.
The Ducks were absolutely on fire from downtown as they drained 14 three-pointers. Marbury finished with 24 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and four steals and was named MVP of the series. This is the Ducks second straight championship and their third in the last four years.
The other day, we chronicled Marbury’s heroic Game 4 performance when he dropped 36 points and made several clutch plays down the stretch to avoid a 3-1 deficit and instead tie the series at 2-2. He also heroically tried to block this dunk by 7′ 1, 300-pounds Han Dejun, aka “The Chinese Shaq.” That didn’t end well for him, but big props to him anyway for the effort.
After a tumultuous end to his NBA career, it’s admirable how Marbury has been able to resurrect his game in the Chinese Basketball Association. He became an instant sensation among fans who have not only embraced him but turned him into something of an icon and subsequently celebrated him with bronze statues, an elaborate theatrical production based on his life, and a forthcoming feature film.
His transformation from the pariah of the Isaiah Thomas-era Knicks to cult-like-folk-hero-extraordinaire is essentially complete, and he’s living proof that there’s life after the NBA if you’re willing to swallow your pride and rediscover your love for the game for its own sake regardless of where or what that entails, which is something many other former superstars have been unwilling or unable to do.