Remade in China.
Stephon Marbury was one of the biggest NBA all superstar’s in the early 2000’s. Like his 2001 in the line of fire shootout with Kobe Bryant-following their seasonal, scorching matchup-which turned the fourth quarter of the All Star game in Washington DC to a playoff one. The Coney Island Point Guard product had placement in Fat Joe lyrics and Terror Squad videos. His shirtless, SLAM cover was as ‘Money. Power. Respect’ iconic as Allen Iverson’s ‘Soul On Ice’ best ever classic. And his ‘Showbiz and K.G’ Minnesota Timberwolves one with Kevin Garnett was remade by Kevin Love (K.L.) and Ricky Rubio too (what a dynamic duo both those perfect partnerships could have been more). Then the show-business of Star Marbury had the game of a big, blockbuster trade (before big, blockbuster trades), as the New Jersey Net was switched to the scorching and running Phoenix Suns for some guy named Jason Kidd (and we all know how that turned out). This former Jersey boy came back home as Starbury had the chance to be the king of New York like Carmelo Anthony leading the Knicks from the point. But like rotten Big Apple luck that all mellowed like ‘Melo too and Marbury seemingly made for Manhattan looked to escape from New York like the Statue of Liberty was ‘Cloverfield’ laying in the middle of Fifth Avenue.
It was time the Point God with a New York state of grind switched from the concrete blacktop jungle of New York to a whole new playground. Steph with a shot at redemption took his ball to the Far East. Known for changing the game and breaking down barriers and borders-his discounted sneakers, affordable for all really knew how to kick game with everyone-Starbury’s star turn wasn’t just another NBA flame-out trying to find some burn in another country like still capable stars Steve Francis or Michael Beasley (bring him back Lake Show). He really remade his name there. Possibly having not only a redemptive resurgence, but arguably the better and for sure the more enjoyable part of his career in a closing chapter that saw him soar.
Retiring at 40 in tears and iconic status in China like Chan for all the years he kicked game, Marbury ended his career with 20 points, a step-back dagger three and the win for the Beijing Royal Fighters, otherwise known as the Beijing Fly Dragons that this fighter breathed fire into. As the crowd cheered “Ma Buli MVP,” “Ma Buli, I love you,” and “My Hero,” and even cheerleaders cried as Stephon got his ‘Jerry Maguire’ on telling everyone in attendance that his career in China “completes me.” Getting poetic the biggest Basketball star in China after Yao Ming continued, “At one time I had no place for the blood to go, and you opened up a portal to your hearts for me to flow. You let me live when I was dying; I can’t explain how I feel as I’m crying”.
Beautiful…but you had us at the Tom Cruise sports agent reference.
Now the man who was the same huge part of the best ’96 draft class with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Steve Nash and Samaki Walker people has shown he was in a league of his own as a three time CBA champion and six time All Star. His time further East wasn’t a footnote like his season with the storied, legendary Boston Celtics. For him and the nation, it was everything. And now his next chapter reads from the dry erase of hoops history.
Because now these fighting dragons have named Stephon Marbury their new head coach. Imagine that! This Brooklyn born baller is about to rule the world from the same sidelines he closed out his playing days with his hands together in prayer as every camera taking an immortalized shot of a moment for life bowed before him. Now set to lead the likes of impressive former Laker Thomas Robinson (having his own Hollywood moment over there like Michelle Yeoh), this former Duck is about to be even more mighty.
This crazy, rich culture and a former NBA icon is showing you Basketball is bigger than just one border.
Canada draws tough group for 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifier
Canada’s Senior Men’s National Basketball (SMNT) faces a tough road to the 2020 Olympic tournament after drawing stiff competition at the official qualifying draw in Switzerland.
No. 21 Canada will play in tough group A in Victoria, British Columbia against No. 7 ranked Greece and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team Canada will also face rising No. 24 China. Group B features No. 43 Uruguay, No. 10 Czech Republic, No. 15 Turkey.
Canada will need to win the last minute Olympic qualifying tournament at home to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic games.
The top two teams in each group advance to the semi-finals in a crossover game. The tournament runs from July 23-28. The top four teams from each tournament will advance to Tokyo and will join an already impressive field that includes hosts Japan, Argentina, Australia, France, Spain, Iran, Nigeria and the United States.
The Czech Republic finished in sixth-place at the recently completed 32-team World Cup in China with a record of 4-4 — with losses coming to the USA 88-67, Greece (84-77), Australia (82-70) and Serbia (90-81). Greece missed out on a top 10 finish after a disappointing 3-2 showing. Turkey showed flashes of brilliance finishing a spot below Canada at 22 with a 2-3 record — losing a close 93-92 group game against the USA.
China also finished with a 2-3 record dropping close games to Poland (79-76), Venezuela (72-59) and Nigeria 86-73. Uruguay, the lowest ranked team of the six is the only team that didn’t qualify for the World Cup.
The six teams coming to Victoria this summer all feature proven NBA star-power, headlined by the Hellas’ Giannis Antekonmpo. The Czech Republic has crafty Chicago Bulls point guard Tomas Satoranksy and Turkey also boasts power forward Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks, point guard Ceidi Osman of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Furkan Korkmaz of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Despite the growing global NBA player presence – it is Canada that features the most international players in the world’s best league. After a disappointing 2-3 showing at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Team Canada is expected to put together it’s best roster in years’ — already garnering early official social media commitments from two of Canada’s rising stars. Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray and OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have officially announced their intentions. Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies, Khem Birch of the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker have also made it clearly evident that they will be on hand to help Canada end it’s 20-year summer Olympics drought that dates back to 2000.
Canada will kick-off the tournament against Greece on June 23rd and will play China the next day with a rest day in-between — before the semi-finals on June 27.
One thing to keep in consideration is the proximity of the qualifying tournament to the NBA Finals. Game 1 on the 2020 NBA Finals is set for Thursday June 4th 2020 and if stretched the distance it will run until Sunday June 21st leaving only two days before the start of the crucial tournament. Both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors are amongst the favorites to win the Eastern Conference and should they reach the NBA finals it will be interesting to see how it will affect player turnout and other last minute decisions.
Canada’s coaching staff is led by Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse, Greece recently appointed former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Rick Pitino.
Canada failed to reach the 2016 Rio Olympics via the FIBA qualification tournament, falling to eventual fourth-place finisher France in a hard-fought 83-74 battle in Manila, Philippines.
Lance Stephenson Makin’ ‘Em Dance In China
Remade in China.
From playing with LeBron and the Lakers last season. To getting an early start in the Far East for this one. Getting in opponents faces like he used to do when he went up against the King. Blow in his face all you want…but its just hot air.
Lance Stephenson is back baby!
Like you’ve never seen him before. Running his town in China for the Liaoning Flying Leopards.
To quote Charlie Murphy talking about Prince in an infamous Hollywood stories episode of Dave’s ‘Chappelle Show’, “this cat can (still) ball man”!
To those who think a couple of strings have popped off Stephenson’s guitar then just watch him play and strum along. Lance is still makin’ ’em dance with the NBA’s most famous celebration…except the league just lost it and one of their premier performers and fondly favourite, cult celebrities in the amazing association of epic entertainment.
Turns out the Lakers should have held on to their veteran big name meme team a little longer. Although they did re-up with pure point Rondo running the show and the centre who should start in JaVale McGee. But in not keeping one of their biggest bench presence spark plugs of camaraderie and chemistry since the days of Rony Turiaf or even Mad Dog, Mark Madsen, this is almost as heart-breaking as losing all the kids in the Hollywood divorce for Anthony Davis. But we love reunions almost as much as we love redemption in this league and with BIG3 MVP Joe Johnson inking a deal with Detroit that is going to see the Motor City Pistons assembly line cut former Laker Michael Beasley. We may just see this fellow wild card, big contributing star head back to the Chinese league he finished out the season with like he hasn’t just flown home already. We know one Leopard who would welcome him with back open paws and any other player with a name beyond a meme, not caring if he never changes his spots.
Just when you thought Ice Cube’s inspired BIG3 was the only prescribed route for former NBA players to EA get back in the game like museum exits via the gift shop then check out this exhibit. You only have to check a FIBA feed and see how France French kissed the United States out said tournament a year before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan to see that this game is truly global. It’s far more than just the United States. It’s the whole wide, watching and welcoming world. And one of the biggest hubs like everything in this world from business, to commerce and innovation is in China. Now that’s some development even the G-League can’t give you old man.
Coney Island’s own legend Stephon Marbury became an icon here, remaining after he retired…and this guy was a superstar under the Times Square, World’s Most Famous Arena lights of being a New York Knick in the Madison Square Garden of hallowed hoops Eden.
Are you listening Carmelo?
You too Dwight…give it a couple of months.
With 35 and 10, double decadence in the playoffs, Lance just put an end to San Miguel like last orders at the bar and now next rounds on him as he mime guitars until the fat lady falsettos in her stilettos to everyone raising a glass in toast.
The all dunking and big shot scoring player looks like he’s stepped into a rejuvenation machine…until you see just how much he afforded with his spare chance minutes last year on the biggest stage in Hollywood. He looks like he’s having a Swayze. And Chinese Basketball in turn the time of its life.
All Stephenson needed was another chance. And boy is he taking it right now. At this point Lance will be back in the league before you can say “it’s opening night at the STAPLES Center.” But at this point would he even want back, causing big trouble in a not so little China?
(As a matter of fact after press Lance Stephenson lead his Leopards over Seoul to win both the Terrific 12 and the tournament MVP…like Jay what more can we say?)
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