During his 15-season NBA career, Stephon Marbury proved to be one of the best point guards of the late ’90s and early 2000s. Both an excellent distributor and a lethal scorer, his career stat line deserves a Hall of Fame node according to many fans and analysts. Yet many still don’t know much about Marbury as a person (outside of some prior drama).
The point guard recently opened up in a tell-all interview with the New Yorker. One of the most interesting revelations had to do with Marbury’s inspiration as a basketball player. It came not from a favorite NBA player but his older brothers. Let’s recap Marbury’s career and his comments about his brothers.
The point guard’s NBA career
The Bucks drafted Marbury with the fourth pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, only to turn around and trade him to the Timberwolves for the No. 5 pick (Ray Allen) and a future first-round selection. Marbury soon proved his talent in Minnesota, averaging 15.8 points and 7.8 assists in his rookie season.
Those numbers improved the next season. But Marbury wasn’t happy playing for the small-market teams and demanded a trade in his third season. The Timberwolves traded him to the New Jersey Nets. Marbury spent three and a half years in New Jersey. There, he established himself as an elite scorer but failed to help the team advance in the playoffs.
During the 2001 offseason, the Nets traded Marbury to the Suns for Jason Kidd and Chris Dudley. Marbury spent two and a half seasons in Phoenix, then four and a half seasons with the New York Knicks, before winding down his career with a brief stint as a Boston Celtic. Over his career, Marbury averaged 19.3 points, 7.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game, while making two All-Star teams.
Stephon Marbury brothers served as inspiration
In his interview with the New Yorker, Marbury fielded a question about what it was like to deal with his fame as a talented high school player in New York City. Marbury stated it wasn’t hard since he had so much support from his family. He also noted, in terms of his professional development and maturity, he was a step ahead of his peers thanks to his older brothers.
Marbury’s brothers all also played basketball. By the time he was in high school, they had all gone off to play college basketball, meaning they were the perfect age to guide Marbury through his own development and transition. Marbury credits his brothers with teaching him, and telling him the things he needed to know in order to navigate his professional growth.
Post-NBA career path
Marbury last played in the NBA during the 2008-09 season. His production at that time was quite meager, with the guard averaging just 3.8 points and 3.3 assists per game as a backup for the Celtics. Yet Marbury knew he still had plenty left in the tank, even if he could no longer keep up with NBA-caliber talent.
Instead, he decided to head overseas to play basketball in the Chinese Basketball Association. In China, Marbury was able to accomplish what he had never done in the NBA: win a title. In fact, he won three of them, all with the Beijing Ducks, in 2012, 2014, and 2015. He also received six All-Star selections, won one Finals MVP, and one CBA International MVP.
Marbury walked away from playing in the CBA at the end of the 2017-18 season, having transformed himself into arguably the single greatest star the league had ever seen. In June 2019, Marbury was named the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters—a position he currently still holds.