Lions were the better team

Updated: 2013-03-19 05:39

(China Daily)

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My soul aches right now, and it is hard for me to accept reality.

I believed in my Beijing Ducks teammates as well as myself. And I thought we had a great shot at winning back-to-back CBA titles even though we were down to the Shandong Gold Lions 2-0 in the semifinals of the playoffs.

However, it was not to be.

The Lions swept us on Friday.

Shandong advanced, and now we will be at home watching the Lions and the Guangdong Southern Tigers compete in the 2013 CBA Finals.

Wow, what a difference a year makes.

Lions were the better team

Last March, my teammates and I were moving onto the championship round en route to claiming Beijing's first CBA title.

I am not a sore loser, but losing never sat well with me and never will. Defeat is like swallowing a bitter pill. And a bitter taste is what I have in my mouth right now.

During these times, I think about my mother, Mabel Marbury, a lot. I could hear her saying what she has said many times before. My mother always told me: "Stephon, you can't win every game because if you did, then nobody would want to play against you".

She's right. It's just going to take some time for me to accept what is true, and that is the better team won the matchup.

The Lions were tougher and had more fight in them. Plus, they wanted to win more than us.

Still, I commend our guys because we had a decent run this past season. We just ran out of gas.

We did not execute our game plan against Shandong, nor did we play our style of basketball on the defensive end.

I must give Shandong credit for altering our team strategy. They forced us to play sub-par on both the offensive and defensive ends. I was also impressed with Shandong's persistence to contain me by double and triple teaming me.

Some will say it was a show of respect. I call it smart basketball as the team made me work harder to make plays for myself and my teammates.

Being swept by the Lions gives my Beijing Ducks teammates and I ammunition, and it is prompting us to start preparing now for whatever CBA teams try and throw at us next season.

Yes, this year will go down as a loss because we failed to reach our goal of keeping the CBA Championship trophy in Beijing.

We want that trophy back! That is why our commitment to do better next season is already in motion.

I believe we can win it all again. We just have to figure out how to be the last team standing. Pray that we do.

On a positive note, I will be the assistant coach for Beijing during the Chinese National Games.

I am honored and excited to begin my coaching career in China as my future plans are now taking shape.

Thank you for reading my weekly column this season.

I hope you enjoyed having insight into my thoughts over the past few months as much as l loved telling you what was on my mind.

Until next season, God speed and God bless you!

Love is Love.



Stephon Marbury can be reached at