Fans show appreciation for Marbury

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, April 25, 2017
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 Beijing Ducks terminate Stephon Marbury's contract after role dispute.

Chinese fans penned hundreds of heartfelt social media messages of support for Stephon Marbury after learning the ex-NBA star would be dropped from his adopted team, the Beijing Shougang Ducks.

"You are the MVP of my heart forever!" one wrote on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform.

"No matter where you go, Beijing is always your home. You are a hero of this city," another wrote in English.

Marbury announced over the weekend that the Shougang club would terminate his contract a year early, despite his offer to take a 20 percent salary cut to continue as a player-coach.

On Sunday, the 40-year-old Marbury said the club dropped him partly because of his age.

While it was "understandable," he countered, "I'm still healthy enough to do the job. I'm still capable of playing at a high level."

Marbury has been one of the most popular and recognizable NBA transplants to the Chinese Basketball Association, leading the Beijing team to championship titles in 2012, 2014 and 2015. He is so famous in the capital that he has his own statue, museum and postage stamp.

A musical and a forthcoming movie have been developed as odes to his China career. In 2015 authorities awarded him the right of permanent residence — a rare honor for a foreigner.

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