BEIJING (Reuters) - Twice NBA All Star point guard Stephon Marbury will become the highest profile American to play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) after he agreed to join China’s Shanxi Club.
The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving the Boston Celtics last season, had agreed a deal with the northern club and would arrive in Shanxi next week, the team announced on their official website (www.sxcba.com).
“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.
The 2001 and 2003 NBA All Star was expected to help boost Shanxi’s ticket sales as well as their chances of making the playoffs. Shanxi is currently 15th in the 17-team league.
Wang added that Marbury’s salary would not be too high because the former New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns player wanted to promote his personal brand of shoes in China.
Shanxi last season hired former NBA player Bonzi Wells, who scored as many as 50 points a game. The contract ended after less than two months when Wells went on holiday but failed to return on time.
Reporting by Liu Zhen and Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford