Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/4/12

Stephon Marbury is doing well these days as a member of the Chinese Basketball Association. He led his Beijing team to the CBA championship last week, and scored 41 points in the series finale' last Friday. That's great for Steph. It's also great that he's been able to parlay his basketball career into an encouraging business venture that he's spent his spare time in China building. All good things to be sure, and it's certainly a maturing step forward from the time he spent rolling with Isiah Thomas eating Vaseline on YouTube. But none of that means he should return to the NBA right now.


If it ain't broke, don't break it. A great philosopher who wished to be known as Anonymous once said that, and I couldn't agree more. Especially as it relates to "Starbury" these days. The "Stephon Marbury Chinese Experience" is currently at it's zenith in lot of ways.

He's playing well, his business appears solid enough, and he hasn't done anything to embarrass himself lately. Which is why I see no reason to make a Trans-Atlantic trek back to the NBA to possibly jeopardize any of that that right now. Even if he could technically help somebody trying to make a push towards the postseason.

While it's easy to joke about Marbury, what shouldn't be dismissed is the fact that he was a top-10 talent in the NBA at one time. He's made over $100 million as a basketball player too, and there is no denying the fact that he won in this whole deal. Bloggers, like me, can make all the snarky comments we want about Marbury, but on the ultimate scoreboard of sports and business I can live one hundred lives and never post the nine digit totals that Marbury's hung on the board. Whether he got his shoe logo tattooed on his head or not. 

I don't want to simply banish Marbury to China forever either, and it's not that I don't like him. I've liked his story ever since I first learned about the 9th grade kid from Coney Island they called Steph in the pages of The Last Shot by Darcy Frey. Say what you want about the guy now, but he's overcome more than most to get where he's gone. Which is all why I want him to preserve the image he's spent these last few years working to restore. I want him to have the respect he deserves for what he has done, and I worry about what a trip back to the NBA might do to all that.

Marbury recently replied to an email from The New York Daily News asking if he'd be interested in coming back to the Knicks as a replacement for Jeremy Lin and he said no. That's a start. I hope that he has the same response if an actual team comes calling in the next few days too. He won a title in China this season. He could win one again next year. His business could one day be bigger than anybody ever imagined as a result. Which is why I hope he stays on the path he's currently on. I think he can find a more sustained peace that way. So while I do think he can help an NBA team still in a reserve role, I hope he doesn't.  

Keep living the dream in China, Steph, we'll all respect you more for it in the end.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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