NEW YORK (AP) — Stephon Marbury hopes to finish off his basketball career back in the NBA.
The 40-year old guard is playing in the Chinese Basketball Association this season for the Beijing Fly Dragons and when the league ends in February or March he wants to join an NBA franchise.
“I’ve spoken to a team,” Marbury told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Malaysia on Wednesday night. “It’s still premature right now, but I’m open to coming back and trying to play that veteran leadership role. … For myself it’s a perfect ending being able to mend ties. It will be a team that I will be able to help and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity to be at my age to be able to hoop. I’m thankful for that. A lot of people can’t walk at my age.”
Marbury, who first mentioned his interest in playing in the NBA again on Instagram , didn’t want to disclose which team he had discussions with.
“The opportunity, it’s a great opportunity because I was anticipating retiring in Beijing with the Ducks,” he said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to go back. I want to do this for the people who had been supporting me for so many years.”
Marbury had a 13-year NBA career playing for the Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Knicks and Celtics. The No. 4 pick in the 1996 draft, Marbury hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2008-09 season with the Boston Celtics. He averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists during his NBA career.
He’s spent the last nine years playing in China and helped the Beijing Ducks win three championships. Marbury met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in China last October and has had positive meetings in New York with the league and with the Knicks.
“I wanted to make sure things are right before I made that decision to go back to the NBA. The timing is right and the exit strategy is a good one,” he said.
Marbury, a New York native,…