BEIJING (AP) Stephon Marbury’s agent said Tuesday that they are in talks with several clubs in China after the former NBA All-Star parted ways with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Beijing Ducks at the weekend.
Marbury ”will definitely play one more year,” Wang Meng told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Marbury, 40, helped the Beijing Ducks secure three CBA championship titles after joining the team in 2011 following a roller-coaster NBA career.
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But the two sides were unable to agree on his future and the club informed Marbury on Saturday it was terminating his contract, according to a letter Marbury wrote to his fans and posted on China’s Sina Weibo microblogging service.
”No matter where I am… Beijing is my home forever. Thank you all for the understanding,” Marbury wrote.
Wang said Marbury had wanted to continue playing with the Beijing Ducks because he wasn’t satisfied with the team’s failure to make the playoffs last season. However, there was ”too much uncertainty” in the club as it moved to replace players and coaches, Wang said.
In his letter to his fans, Marbury said he had still been able to lead the team despite pulling a hamstring at the beginning of the season and had offered the club options including a 20 percent cut in his salary so he could work as a player-coach.
But he said he was grateful to the club for releasing him from his contract so he could still play in the CBA and ”their blessing to a veteran’s final wish.”
Wang said Marbury’s injury was healing and the Brooklyn native was therefore ”looking forward to ending his career with a victory.”
Marbury carved out a remarkable second act to his career in Beijing and became one of China’s most popular celebrity sportsmen. Along with his more than 4 million Weibo followers, he has his own museum and line of sneakers and sportswear.
He previously said he planned to stay in China after retiring and hoped one day to coach the national team.
”Of course the fans of Beijing who gave me my second life, thank you so much as always. Love is Love,” he wrote.
AP news assistant Liu Zheng contributed to this report.
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