Starbury: Is Stephon Marbury Crazy Like A Fox Or Just Plain Crazy?

Jason DouglasContributor IISeptember 18, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 11:  Stephon Marbury #3 of the New York Knicks walks down the court against the Toronto Raptors on January 11, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

All reports seem to indicate that Allen Iverson is set to join Stephon Marbury in China.

Huh? What? Say that again?

AI, the 17th all-time leading scorer in league history (and pound for pound the toughest player ever IMHO) is going to China? Believe it or not, not one NBA team has contacted the 35-year-old Iverson for the upcoming season.

While he's had a few bad years (and some personal issues) you can't tell me he wouldn't be effective on a team like the Lakers or the Heat.

If true, it's a sad end to Iverson's career. I think you can make a strong case that Iverson is the greatest player in the NBA never to have won a ring.

And what of Stephon Marbury?

After his crazy live rant online about eating vaseline and god knows what else, he went to China.

Last season he played with Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 22.9 ppg, 9.5 apg, and 2.6 spg. He was MVP of the All-Star game there dropping 30 points and contributing 10 assists.

But Steph isn't really there to play basketball. He's there for business.

After creating his signature Starbury shoe with Steve & Barry's, he made an unprecedented move by selling the shoes for only $14.98. Steve and Barry's has since filed for bankruptcy but Shanxi has agreed to create a company to market his shoes in China.

He signed a three-year deal to remain with the club this past July. Considering how big the Chinese market is and how basketball crazy they are, I'm sure he's being compensated pretty well in China.

What then of Starbury's legacy?

After dominating at Lincoln High School and Georgia Tech he ended up playing for five NBA teams: Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix, New York, and ultimately Boston. We tend to forget that Larry Brown and Isaiah Thomas handcuffed him and effectively destroyed the last three years of his career.

Keep in mind that for his career he averaged 19.3 ppg, 7.6 apg, 3.0 rpb.

If we drop the last three years, he averaged over 20 ppg and 8 apg for his career. Oscar Robertson is the only player in NBA history to do that. And for everyone that says he was selfish, he averaged over eight apg for most of his career until he was destroyed by the soap opera in New York.

Clearly he had some issues and wasn't the easiest guy to play with sometimes. But there is no denying the talent or the production. People often like to compare him to Jason Kidd (whom he was traded for out of Phoenix). People love to say how Jason Kidd is a winner and Steph is not.

First, let's remember Jason Kidd never won anything. Neither has Steve Nash. Kidd has averaged 13.6 ppg and 9.2 apg for his career. Steve Nash has averaged 14.6 ppg and 8.3 apg for his career.

Steph's scoring numbers are far better, and his assists are right there, and none of them have won a thing. I'd suspect most people would consider both Jason Kidd and Steve Nash Hall of Famers.

With all emotion stripped away, if you put those guys in don't you have to at least consider Steph? I'll leave it to you to decide.