There's a new dynasty in town.

Stephon Marbury has once again lead the Beijing Ducks to the championship of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), in the process transforming the once dormant Ducks into a 21st century dynasty with the franchise's second straight CBA title and third in four years.

The Ducks' 106-98 victory over the Liaoning Leopards this evening closed out the best-of-seven series four games to two, with the clinching game taking place on Liaoning's home turf.

Marbury, the focus of the the Beijinger's March cover story, scored 24 points in the final game and was awarded the series MVP, a first for him in his six-season CBA career.

With the victory Marbury has further solidified himself as a hero in Beijing and certainly one of its most revered foreign residents.

"They said I was too old, they said I couldn't do it," Marbury said after the game.

But he didn't do it alone.

The real MVP of last night, Marbury said, was teammate Zhai Xiaochuan, who lead the Ducks with 27 points.

Last year's playoff MVP Randolph Morris of the Ducks also credited a team effort, noting that the Chinese players were just as responsible for the championship as the imported foreign stars.

Marbury later posted a video to his Weibo account thanking the lord and the fans of Beijing. "You guys are the best fans on the planet," he said.

The last game of the series was one of the least competitive. While the game stayed close during the first half, the Ducks came on strong in the third quarter and lead by 10 points by the beginning of the fourth. By that time Liaoning's spirit was broken, and Beijing closed out an easy victory.

in honor of Marbury leading the Ducks to back-to-back titles, we reprint our exclusive interview with Marbury from the March issue of thebeijinger below.

Stephon Marbury is arguably Beijing’s favorite foreigner.

Born and raised in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, the talented sixth of seven children has his eyes on a third championship, and the start – or continuation – of a basketball dynasty in China’s capital.

“When I came here, I was in a really bad place. I had a lot of turbulence in the NBA, but China gave me the peace and tranquility that I needed to regain my balance and to get back to who I was as a human being. I am forever grateful and indebted to that,” he said.

Marbury doesn’t even have a basketball at his relatively modest apartment near Wangfujing. “Maybe that’s my way of keeping my business in the office,” he laughed.

Marbury spoke with the Beijinger about life in Beijing, basketball, and why he’ll be staying on in China even when his playing days are over.

How does play in the NBA compare to that in the CBA?
It’s a different game. In the NBA you already know your position. When you are a point guard, you are going to play the point guard position. Two guard position is two guard position. Here in China you have to pretty much do everything. The CBA is a second tier league. It is less competitive than the NBA, but it could be harder for foreign players. Here, you are expected to score.

What is a day like for Stephon Marbury in Beijing?
My life is pretty ordinary here. It’s just like living back at home in the States. I mean, during the season, there’s really not much to do because you are tired, you have practice, you play three games a week. So, I’m really not doing too much during the week. Monday would be a day that I would normally do something like go out to eat. I’ll go to The Village (Taikoo Li Sanlitun), something like that. Or sometimes hanging out with some of my friends, locally.”

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
I’ve been to a variety of different restaurants so I won’t specifically say that I have a favorite one. But there are some places that I do like. Like the Chinese restaurant right down the street. Mr. Hua’s (commonly known as Hua’s Restaurant), I go there and I go to the one at Gongti. I also go to some of the restaurants in The Village. I go to a place called The Big Smoke. This place has a variety of different styles of food, mostly Western food. But for the most part I eat at the hotel restaurant here.

So you don’t cook?
Yeah I cook sometimes, I cook sometimes. I have an ayi too. She cooks sometimes as well. She cooks. She goes to the store. She cooks mainly Chinese food.

What about during off-season, when your life is not as intense as it is right now?
Yeah I mean pretty much the same thing. I go to like China Grill, but my life is pretty simple. I mean, I’ve kind of just blended in. It’s not anything spectacular, just basically like living here. This would be my fourth year living here, so it’s not as, you know, extravagant as people would probably think. It’s really simple. It’s a really simple life.

Why do you think you are so popular in Beijing? Arguably you are the most famous foreigner in the city. Why do you think that is?
Because we won championships? (Laughs) I mean I think that’s it. We won one championship and we weren’t satisfied. A lot of people would say to themselves, “Oh that’s it! You know Beijing won a championship. We are great. We are good.” I didn’t, that’s not where I wanted it to end. When I first came here and when I started talking about winning championships, people were like, “Oh no, let’s just make to the top eight.” And I’m like, we can do that, but that’s not where my mind frame and mindset are. That’s not why I trained all summer to just make it to the top eight, or the top four. My mind frame is to be the best team. We trained and we worked hard to be the best team. You know, it’s there for you.

You were recently named one of Beijing’s model citizens. Is being a role model something you embrace or are you more of a Charles Barkley sort (Barkley famously declared, “I am not a role model”)?
I like to think of myself as more of a goal model, you know. It’s not being the role model as well, but the parents are pretty much the role models because they are around the kids that are growing up every day in the daily life, you know. No one is perfect and I’m far from perfect. So you know the role that I play in a life may not be conducive for someone to look at my life and say ‘I want to follow that role in a life.’ But the positive thing that I’ve done I think is that kids can actually look at me and have a guide toward doing something positive in life. So, it’s probably more like being a goal model, you know, towards being that type of person or individual.

Has your experience in China changed you? If so, in what way?
Definitely. When I came here, I was in a really bad place. I had lost my family members, I had lost my coach, the coach that taught all my brothers how to play basketball. It was in succession, not like years apart. This was all in one year, you know, three deaths within a month. Then I was facing a lot of turbulence in the NBA. So at that time, China was the perfect place for me, to come and to be. Not only for basketball just for my life because it gave me the peace and tranquility that I needed to regain my balance and to actually get back into the realm of who I was as a human being. Not speaking the language is a great thing for me because I had time to actually to meditate on me, to meditate within my thoughts, to regain my peace and balance within myself, which was much needed in order to continue to take steps and move forward in my life. China has a special place in my heart, in my life. I don’t say I love China just because a lot of people say, “Oh you say you love China because you get to make money in China.” I’m like, you know, my life is not about money. I’d rather live a peaceful life and have nothing than have everything and feel like I want to kill myself, you know what I’m saying? What’s the use of having a whole bunch of money if you are miserable every single day. If you are happy and peaceful, you can always go and make money and do something to take care of yourself. So, you know, China gave me the peace I’ve needed to keep myself when I came here. So I’m forever grateful and forever indebted to the country.

So this is the best story line that could ever be written for you?
I mean, thus far. I mean it’s been better than I could probably have dreamed. I couldn’t go and say “Ok, tonight I’m going to dream to have a statue of myself in Beijing, the capital of the most populated country on the planet.” Even if I dreamt something like this today I would tell myself I was crazy. So, the things that happen to me here are far beyond anything that I could have ever imagined for my life, let alone someone else imagining it for me, or thinking or saying it. So, how can you not enjoy or embrace or love the situation?

Images: the Beijinger, Osports/Sina.com, and courtesy of Stephon Marbury


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog