There has been all sorts of banter over the last few weeks that one place that NBA players may choose to play hoops if the NBA Lockout is still in effect at the start of the regular season would be China. The country has gained great interest in the NBA during the last decade with Yao Ming playing for the Houston Rockets, before retiring earlier this month. The Association acquired even more of a following during the 2008 Beijing Olympics as Team USA dazzled the country while winning the Gold Medal.
New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony expressed thoughts about playing in China earlier this week. According to former NBA veteran guard Stephon Marbury though the pair would most not enjoy playing for a Chinese team. Starbury, who has played in China since 2010, told the “New York Post” that NBA stars could experience some culture shock playing in the Far East.
Marbury said “I don’t think those guys will want to go through it. China is not for everybody; a whole ‘nother world. I don’t think they’re going to go there, not the big-time guys. Maybe they’d come for a little bit, but if the season is cancelled for the year, I don’t think they’d want to stay. They’ll want to go home. I don’t think Carmelo Anthony is going to run like they want to run in practice. They want to run you to death. The first time I got there, they ran in practice for two straight hours. I said, ‘Is that what we have to do every practice?”
The former NBA star believes that some NBA players such as Kobe Bryant will get along fine in other countries. He told the paper “Guys like Kobe, they understand the game, culture. He’s going to embrace Turkey. If you’re in China, you have to make sure you’re in the right place, the right frame of mind. It’s not like America.
Marbury remembered that he figured out early that players on Chinese teams do not get the pampering that the players in the Association are used to. Marbury told the paper that one time his team had two walk two miles from one station to another to catch a train. The veteran said “And I’m carrying this big bag two miles and said, ‘God, you know how to show me an experience.’ We rode the train with the people. It was like being on the D train. No private jets. It was a humbling experience. That’s why I love it so much. Not far removed from Coney Island.”
Marbury played last season for Foshan Dralions, however he may end up playing for a team in Beijing this upcoming season. The former NBA guard was plagued with controversy his last few seasons in the NBA, but does not appear to be having any problems playing in China.