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Stephon Marbury statue in China unveiled; Dennis Rodman gives speech (Photos)

Remember when it was reported that Stephon Marbury, fresh off leading the Beijing Ducks to their first-ever Chinese Basketball Association championship, would be forever immortalized with his own bronze statue in China? Well, Sunday was the day that statue was officially unveiled outside the MasterCard Center in Beijing.

There to celebrate the occasion with Marbury were his family, teammates and, for some reason, Dennis Rodman, who gave the statue’s dedication speech. Marbury shared on Twitter some photos and thoughts from the ceremony, including inventing the hashtag “#statuelife” and dubbing it “a proud day in world history” for the Marbury family.

Here are more photos from the event:

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Stephon Marbury is getting a bronze statue in China (Picture)

This is understandably impossible for people here in America to wrap their brains around, but Stephon Marbury is a hero in China. Marbury dominated the CBA this season and led the Beijing Ducks to their first ever CBA championship with a 4-1 series win over Guandong. Not only that, but he managed to connect with the people of China through social networks and other forms of media. Simply put, Marbury spent the past season in China being everything he wasn’t during the end of his NBA career.

Marbury is a hero, and heroes get statues. As you can see from the photo above that HoopChina.com shared with us (via Dime), a petition started by Chinese basketball fans to have a Marbury statue created has paid off. According to Ball Don’t Lie, more than 200,000 fans signed the petition within hours and there were more than 1 million signatures within a week. Now, a statue of Marbury holding the CBA championship trophy is in the works. I guess this officially makes him a global icon, right? I know, we cant believe it either.

Stephon Marbury says he would not be open to returning to the Knicks

With Jeremy Lin likely out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury and Amar’e Stoudemire still sidelined with a bulging disk, the Knicks’ future is looking grim. If Lin was the missing piece New York needed to make a deep run in the playoffs, they are now extremely short on back court help. Ironically enough, former Knick Stephon Marbury led Beijing to its first CBA championship in franchise history earlier this week. He scored 42 points in the final game of the series. New York is in need and Marbury has resurrected his career. Could it be? Nope.

The NY Post emailed Marbury on Saturday night to ask would he would say if the Knicks came calling. He responded with one word: “NOTHING.”

The idea of Marbury returning to the Knicks is obviously extremely far-fetched, but the thinking was that it was Mike D’Antoni he despised — not the organization. The D’Antoni part is certainly true, as evidenced by Marbury’s Twitter rant after the former Knicks coach resigned, but he finally has a good thing going. Marbury’s NBA career ended in embarrassing fashion. In China, people like him so much that they’re willing to tattoo his face on their leg. Why come back?

Fan in China has Stephon Marbury tattoo on his leg, and it’s awful (Picture)

Believe it or not, Stephon Marbury has actually captured the hearts of a number of people in China. His Beijing Ducks currently hold a 3-1 series lead over Guangdong and are one win away from their first CBA title in franchise history. Yes, Stephon has even led the way. As shocking as it may be to those of us who remember NBA Stephon, he is loved enough in China that a fan actually has a tattoo of Starbury’s face on his leg. That’s what you’re looking at in the disturbing image above that I Am A GM discovered on Weibo, which is the Chinese version of Twitter.

If you thought athlete face tattoos like this one, this one, or this one were frightening, this may have just rocked your world. The “Love is Love” was the icing on the cake for me. When someone in a foreign country gets a tattoo of your face on their leg, it’s probably safe to say you’ve resurrected your career.

Stephon Marbury won’t interview for Sports Illustrated unless they put him on cover

Give Stephon Marbury credit. The dude is still a head case and he acted like a moron for most of his NBA career, but he has done well for himself playing basketball in China. Marbury signed with the Beijing Ducks last year, and this year he has led them to the CBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Tigers took a 1-0 series lead over Guangdong on Wednesday night.

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated decided to profile the resurrection of Marbury’s basketball career. Their piece contained quotes from teammates and Chinese basketball insiders who say Marbury has made a genuine effort to connect and interact with the fans. Missing, however, were quotes from Marbury himself. Apparently those won’t come unless SI agrees to give him the cover.

Marbury’s relations with the American press remain as frayed as ever — he turned down multiple requests to speak with SI.com unless he was guaranteed the cover of Sports Illustrated — but he’s never been more popular among the fans in China.

From the sound of it, Starbury is still holding a grudge against the media in America. Plenty of negative things have been written about him, but when you say stuff like this you kind of get what you’re asking for. It will be interesting to see if SI caves if the Ducks go on to win the CBA championship.

Chest bump to Deadspin for the story

Stephon Marbury blasts Mike D’Antoni, says Jeremy Lin is ‘covered by the blood of Christ’

With the news surfacing yesterday that Mike D’Antoni had resigned as head coach of the Knicks, a certain self-conscious someone that once played under New York’s former coach went on a tweeting spree. Stephon Marbury, who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet over the past few years, never saw eye-to-eye with D’Antoni when he took over in New York toward the end of Stephon’s time with the Knicks. Like Carmelo Anthony, Marbury felt he was not utilized properly in D’Antoni’s system. It didn’t help that Marbury had been going off the deep end at that point in his career.

With that in mind, it is easy to understand why Stephon turned his Twitter page into a D’Antoni hate website late Wednesday night. Here are a few of the highlights that Ball Don’t Lie called our attention to:

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Stephon Marbury: Knicks Fans ‘Fill Their Souls With Negativity’

Stephon Marbury seems to be enjoying his days in China more than he enjoyed them in New York. He may not like the food or make nearly as much money, but Starbury is happy to be somewhere with fans who appreciate him — unlike those barbarians back in the United States.  Isn’t that just lovely?

Marbury told the Washington Post on Wednesday how he feels about Chinese fans compared to Americans — particularly Knicks fans. “China is a positive place, what can I say,” Marbury explained. “The Chinese, unlike Americans – and particularly New Yorkers – don’t fill their souls with negativity.”

I can’t speak for the fans in China, but the sad part about this is Marbury is probably right.  American fans do have a tendency to be negative — even if Knicks fans actually wanted Stephon back for a split second.  That being said, Marbury did nothing to help his reputation while playing in the NBA and everything to make fans hate him.

Let’s put the fate of the Foshan Dragon Lions in the hands of Marbury and Isiah Thomas and see how long the honeymoon lasts.  I’d be willing to bet those two could fill anyone’s soul with negativity.