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Stephon Marbury will not be heading back to the Boston Celtics anytime soon. He will also not be in the NBA as he recently signed a contract with the Shanxi Zhingyu (Brave Dragons) in the China Basketball Association.
Shanxi is bringing Marbury in for one reason and one reason only: to boost ticket sales. The team did the same thing last season when they brought in the troubled Bonzi Wells. Wells played for about six weeks before he left the team, saying that they stopped paying him. Wells scored as many as 50 points a game.
Although Marbury will not be paid very much, he is going there for his own reason: to sell shoes. Marbury, the owner of the brand Starbury, wants to go to China to promote his affordable shoes in order to boost sales himself. So by helping himself, he will try and help the team from Shanxi.
“The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games in the rest of the season,” said Shanxi boss Wang Xingjiang.
Shanxi is currently in 15th out of 17 teams in the league is not expected to make the playoffs. The team also has former Houston Rockets player Maurice Taylor and American Lee Benson. Either Benson or Taylor will be cut in order to make room for Marbury on the team.
Marbury struggled last season with the Celtics as he averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 assists a game, but I am sure that at least his scoring will improve overseas. If anything, he will want to be the highest profile player in China in order to help sell his shoes…and what better way to help than high scoring? Well maybe winning, but he doesn’t care about that anymore.