BEIJING - Former NBA star Stephon Marbury, who led the Beijing Ducks to win their first-ever title of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league, said on Saturday he had his promise fulfilled in this season's CBA.
The long-coveted title lit the passion of the capital city, and it was also the first time in Marbury's career to lift a trophy.
"I kept my promise, it was a lot of work, and it was hard, it was the hardest thing that I have ever done since I began to play basketball. We did it," said Marbury, who grabbed game-high 41 points in the fifth and final game of the series on Friday night.
"Overall feeling is that the mission was accomplished, we did what we wanted to do at the beginning of the year," the 35-year-old added.
Marbury averaged 33.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists during the CBA Finals to guide his team to the top. However, he was unable to receive the MVP award from the league as the CBA rules says only domestic players are eligible as candidates. Marbury believed that the team's other starting guard Li Xuelin will be awarded the MVP title.
"Li deserves the MVP. He rested only 5 minutes in the whole finals, I mean that's incredible," he said.
CBA enjoyed the hottest season in its 17-year history, but according to Marbury, the league still needs improvement.
"I think the basketball court need to change. I think they should invest the money on the floor, put forward the right materials for players."
"The gym should be as cold as a gym, I think they should make it for sure. There should be standard temperature for a basketball game."
It was Marbury's third season in CBA, and the Chinese culture influenced him a lot.
"From Chinese culture, I learned how to be at peace, I learned to how to show my emotions, I learned how to react and not to react."
Marbury was planning a book about his life and experience in China.
"I'm starting to write a book, maybe in the next season you can see my book come out, just about the life, about China, about my experience, all the things we faced in last three years, about winning a championship," he said.