Why former NBA star Stephon Marbury has deep appreciation for 3x3
BEIJING (China) – It isn’t surprising that former NBA star and Chinese basketball legend Stephon Marbury has high regard for 3x3.
The two-time NBA All-Star and Chinese Basketball Association MVP showcased plenty of tricks during his decorated career spanning more than two decades. Marbury’s slick handles and filthy crossovers were ideal characteristics for 3x3.
The 42-year-old honed his game playing streetball on the legendary playground courts of New York. This background fuels his intrigue and admiration for 3x3.
Since retiring from professional basketball last year, Marbury has kept busy pursuing business interests including publicly stating his ambition to start a 3x3 professional league in his adopted home of China and playing in next year’s Tokyo Games, where 3x3 will be making its Olympics debut.
He won a bronze medal for USA's bronze winning team in the men's basketball at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he scored a then team record of 31 points against Spain in the quarter-finals.
Marbury, who was a special guest at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, presented by Wanda, believes playing 3x3 “gives you flair”. “It gives you moves that you need in order to do certain things,” he says.
“Being fundamentally sound and then having the streetball aspect intertwined into your game just makes things so much easier because you can do so many tricks with the ball to make people think you're going one way but then you're going the other way.
“You can use the ball to basically deceive the mind into thinking of something from what is actually going to happen, and then you score.”
“3x3 basketball is super dope. Now you're governing basketball as a whole. You're not leaving anyone or anything out. You're covering all bases.”
The 6ft2’in (1.88m) former guard says he admires 3x3 being a player driven game and is impressed how it has gained a loyal following through social media.
“I think that the 3x3 basketball is still super dope. Streetball is still super dope because now you're governing basketball as a whole,” he says. “You're not leaving anyone or anything out. You're covering all bases, and I think basketball should be covered in that aspect.
“I don't think that we should leave those things out when you see all these going on, especially with content being king, and everyone is a reporter. If you got a phone, you can get Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you can basically upload anything. I think being able to monetize off of all these types is a good thing.”
After being drafted with the fourth pick in the legendary 1996 NBA Draft, Marbury played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
He moved to China in 2010 and became a household name in the world’s most populous country after leading the Beijing Ducks to three championships.