Marbury shines as Beijing wins title

Marbury shines as Beijing wins title

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
Marbury shines as Beijing wins title

Former NBA superstar point guard Stephon Marbury (C) of the Beijing Ducks is the biggest name to choose to play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). AFP photo

Former NBA superstar Stephon Marbury led the Beijing Ducks to their first-ever Chinese championship on March 30, scoring 41 points as the host team knocked off title holders Guangdong Tigers 124-121.

Fellow American Randolph Morris sealed the victory for Beijing, hitting two free throws with 21 seconds left on the clock, while a three pointer by Guangdong’s Aaron Brooks was wide of the mark as time expired.

Marbury, the former New York Knick, led a balanced Beijing attack in a physical contest played before a capacity crowd of 18,000 in the capital, with six Ducks scoring in double figures.

In their first-ever Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championship, the Ducks beat southerners Guangdong, winners of the last four straight league titles, five games to one in the best-of-seven series.

Marbury, who has led Beijing all year with his scoring and play-making, ended up with 41 points on the night for the winners, while Zhai Xiaochuan scored 22, Zhu Yanxi contributed 16 and Morris notched 14.

Guangdong was led by Brooks with 22 points and another American, James Singleton, with 29.

Marbury, a two-time NBA All-Star, has reinvented himself since arriving in China in 2009 following a tumultuous 13-year NBA career that saw supreme talent on the court but often poor off-court behaviour and various spats with coaches and teammates.

But in China, the multi-millionaire has led by example, taking his gritty, muscular game and infecting a roster of young Beijing players with fight and tenacity.

He has also embraced the culture while working to sell his “Starbury” brand of shoes and sports apparel with a “love is love” marketing campaign.