BEIJING _ That is the video from the Beijing Ducks’ third consecutive loss after their 13-0 start to the season, a game in which Wilson Chandler scored 44 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. (Shoutout to NiuBBall.com for the footage).
At one point in the game, Stephon Marbury told his coach he would defend Chandler.
Marbury, 34, is 10 years older, 6 inches shorter, and 15 pounds lighter. “Nobody asked me, but I have to do that. Because at the time my teammates were all out of gas. As the leader of the team, I have to stand out, to do whatever the team needed.”
His defense was good enough that Chandler uttered something that few in America would believe: “Stephon is still in great shape, I don’t think he has lost a step.
“If he wanted, he still can play in the NBA.”
Chandler’s coach, Jim Cleamons, agrees.
“Of course he still has the ability,” Cleamons said. “He lost speed, but he plays smart. He knows how to play. I just wonder if he wants to go back, because he is very happy playing in China.”
It’s true. Marbury is enjoying his time in China.
Chinese fans love him. Although the Ducks lost to Zhejiang Guangsha 118-112, Beijing is still the head horse of the league.
Marbury, who averages 23.3 ppg and 5.6 assists, is recognized the leading MVP candidate after half of the regular season.
“I love China, love people here, I had a hard life in my final years in NBA, but I got a new life in China. I feel reborn here. I think I’m blessed,” Marbury said.
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Here is my midseason All-CBA team (foreign players only)
PG: Stephon Marbury, Beijing Ducks. 23.3 ppg, 5.6 assists, 2.3 steals. Team record: 13-3 (1st place)
SG: J.R. Smith, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. 35.0 ppg, 5.9 rebs, 3.8 assists, 2.9 steals. Team record: 9-6 (4th place)
SF: Wilson Chander, Zhejiang Guangsha. 28.8 ppg, 12.5 rebs, 2.4 assists. Team record: 12-4 (3rd place)
PF: Charles Gaines, Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons. 28 ppg, 12.7 rebs, 1.2 assists. Team record: 7-8 (10th place)
C: P.J. Ramos, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. 24.5 ppg, 14.5 rebs, 1.2 blocks. Team record: 12/4 Standing: 3rd
For those unfamiliar with Gaines, he played at Southern Mississippi and caused a furor during last year’s CBA finals for this one-punch knockout:
Guan Weijia is a columnist for Titan Sports, The Beijing News and qq.com. His columns for SheridanHoops.com appear every Friday.
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