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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 12:50 pm  |  21 responses

Stephon Marbury Helped Save JR Smith’s Job in China


Sheridan Hoops has the awesome story of how Stephon Marbury reasoned with JR Smith, who was in danger of getting booted off his team in China for not following the rules, following a serious injury scare: “The club was exasperated. A document to terminate the contract was in preparation. Although the contract is guaranteed, if Smith broke the rules more than twice, the team has the right to end the contract without any compensation. Zhao Bing told the press that actually Smith has broken the rules lots of times, and has been warned three times. According to my sources, the club was planning to fire Smith and look for another American player. At that moment, Smith realized the danger of the situation. He needed help badly, and Stephon Marbury gave him a hand. Marbury joined the CBA in 2010, and became the most popular player in short time. He loves China and has made many friends here. Smith learned that one of Marbury’s friends is very close to the Zhejiang club, so he asked for help. Marbury and his Chinese friend said yes to his request. At first, the club was tough and insisted it would terminate Smith. Then, they agreed to give him another chance, but he had to apologize for his behavior and promise to improve. The club had another demand: Smith must live with the team. Before the issue, all the other Zhejiang players lived in standard rooms of a common hotel, but Smith persisted that he wanted to stay in a suite of a 5-star hotel. The club met his needs, paying the bill for about 900 dollars per night. Smith presented his regrets and accepted these requirements. He flew back to Zhejiang to join the team after the examination. He played Tuesday, getting 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The story has not ended here, and maybe the next part is the main point. In the talk with Smith lasting for more than an hour, Marbury told him that what kind of league the CBA is, and what he should do to succeed here: ‘You have to adapt yourself to the new environment and culture, at least to your team. You cannot expect to continue the lifestyle of the NBA, because it’s not the NBA. You’d better eat and live with the team. In the CBA, it’s impossible for the whole team to stay in a 5-star hotel. This is the reality. If you want to win, to be friends with your teammates, you must respect them, and get their respect in return, although you speak a different language.’ After seeing the happy end of the story, Marbury said: ‘I’m happy for him. I hope he cherishes the opportunity, because not everyone can get a second chance. Every price is worth it, wish everything goes well for him.’”

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  • Big Sean

    I’ve said this so many time, “Starbury, the voice of reason”.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    ‘….. For now’, the title of this story forgot to add.

  • permaculture james

    I like this story. NBA players abroad will get the most out of their travels if they experience the culture they are in rather than stay in a 5-star bubble. Kind of great that Marbury interceded on his behalf — like that sign of solidarity. I hope JR makes it work; I bet he will return a better player (assuming his knee mends) with that nonverbal communication under his belt … or some Wu dialect … FYI: just saw a weird story on JR (http://eye-on-basketball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/33467973) make of it what you will.

  • ripslam

    Good to see Marbury finding success again.

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    Marbury then went on to say “you’re too caught up in basketball JR, you gotta get caught up in LIFE”

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Stephon has definitely gotten caught up in life. Good on him.

  • EtheKnickFan

    Who knew?

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Starbury – the wise elder of crazy delusional ball players.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    SO the opt out clause in China is break the team rules.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    Coolwhip forgot to add that Marbury slapped him across the back of the head repeatedly while talking.

  • Chukaz

    I wonder if they eat Vaseline in China. That’s got to be the reason Marbury’s lasted so long over there

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    I never thought Starbury would be the down to earth vet who helps players adapt to new situations. Really happy for the dude.

  • $tevie Ca$h

    wow, Marbury has changed! good for him.

  • cinquet

    JR smith is super talented but his attitude sucks, and thats why hes a off the bench player

  • Matt Park

    Imagine if JR came back to the NBA next year with a new attitude and a more consistent game. Goddamn… Now imagine if he was willing to share the ball, play defense every time down the court, and not force his offense.

    China: the land of miracles.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chubachuchi

    “Before the issue, all the other Zhejiang players lived in standard rooms of a common hotel, but Smith persisted that he wanted to stay in a suite of a 5-star hotel. The club met his needs, paying the bill for about 900 dollars per night.” You can’t be serious this dude has game but he’s clearly an a*shole. They’re paying you big money to play basketball and you demand to stay in 5 star hotels which THEY also have to pay for that is ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/parrinello StarburyMarbury

    Chukaz, why don’t you get a clue. The Vaseline jokes are so old and not even funny anymore. Marbury never was crazy and he still isn’t. Everyone laughed at him for going overseas, now where are many players heading? Marbury is the truth.

  • young

    stephon marbury is one of the best point guards of all time!!!

    marbury has always been a good dude.

    he has got the worst press i have ever seen. He once donated 1 million dollars to Katrina, and he got choked up in his speech and the media said it was a publicity stunt.

    ^^^ that pretty much sums up marburys carrer with the media

  • http://Www.imdb.com TheBigL

    JR tries to be the 1 percent.

  • http://www.hoopchina.com Chinese

    stephon marbury is a good guy;

  • Pingback: Report: JR Smith Was Fined Over $1 Million By His Team in China | China News Center

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