What's Buzzing:

Ball Don't Lie

Stephon Marbury will star as himself in a Chinese play

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

View photo

Stephon Marbury, left, and Doug Christie battle for a loose ball in a 2007 game. (AP)

Stephon Marbury, left, and Doug Christie battle for a loose ball in a 2007 game. (AP)

When Stephon Marbury left the NBA to play in the Chinese Basketball Association in January 2009, it was generally seen as a case of a fallen star looking for the biggest available paycheck. Few thought he would last overseas, if only because the culture shock and different expectations can challenge even the best-intentioned imports. Yet Marbury has thrived — he's been a league champion, become enough of a star to warrant a bronze statue in Beijing, and approached the whole experience with sincere emotion and passion. His success isn't as glamorous internationally as if he'd done the same in the NBA, but it seems somewhere close to as meaningful for Marbury.

The 37-year-old guard now has another accomplishment to add to his growing legend in China — starring in his own stage play. Ben Sin of SI's Extra Mustard explains the play's concept and details:

Yup, tickets for the production "I Was Marbury" officially went on sale yesterday. The play will cover Marbury's life during the 2011-2012 Beijing Ducks season -- when Marbury led the team to its first championship over the Aaron Brooks-led Guangdong Tigers.
The play's director, Zhou Wenhong, told Chinese media that the main theme of the play will be "never give up" and will incorporate choreographed basketball moves with dance. Marbury, however, describes the play's story in grander terms, saying in a press conference the play focuses on "Sino-US relations."
Marbury will play himself in the production, but will only appear in a few scenes -- the story apparently focuses on other Chinese characters who have been inspired by Marbury.
According to the production's official website, the show will have a different guest star each night, including Yao Ming and former NBA journeyman Wang Zhizhi.

"I Was Marbury" — in the past tense for reasons I don't entirely understand — will run only 11 nights from Oct. 1-11, with tickets ranging from $30 to $270. In other words, the prices aren't that far off from tickets for a standard NBA game, although the play figures to include far more examples of basketball players engaged in choreographed dance. Plus, in keeping with Marbury's longstanding beliefs, it's sure to be tastefully done.

It's easy to glance at this headline and consider the whole story ridiculous, but Marbury has continually proven that his involvement in Chinese culture is serious. He has embraced the nation and its basketball future, becoming not just a star on the court but someone who has made genuine strides in building the CBA's legacy. This forthcoming play might not be "Death of a Salesman," but it's another part of Marbury's career in China. If he takes it seriously, we shouldn't consider the project a sideshow until it opens.

Until then, we can imagine specific scenes, with our imaginations setting the only limits. I'm hoping for a Yao/Starbury duet of "Anything You Can Do."

More basketball coverage from Yahoo Sports:

- - - - - - -

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (108)
  • George has 40, Pacers hit 19 3s in win

    George has 40, Pacers hit 19 3s in win

    Indiana forward Paul George thinks his team doesn't get enough attention. George scored a season-high 40 points and made seven 3-pointers, part of a franchise-record 19 by the Pacers in a 123-106 victory over the Washington Wizards. C.J. Miles … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Balanced Grizzlies beat Mavericks 110-96

    Mike Conley scored 21 points, Jeff Green added 19 and seven Memphis players reached double figures in a 110-96 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Marc Gasol had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which won its fifth in the last … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • NBA results

    Nov 25 (Infostrada Sports) - Results from the NBA games on Tuesday (home team in CAPS) Indiana 123 WASHINGTON 106 ATLANTA 121 Boston 97 MEMPHIS 110 Dallas 96 … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago
  • Late run pushes Celtics by Hawks 121-97

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Paul Millsap scored 25 points, Jeff Teague added 16 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 121-97 on Tuesday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 32 minutes ago
  • Shot Clock Magic

    Shot Clock Magic

    Blake Griffin hits the 3-pointer in mid-air off the feed from Wesley Johnson to beat the shot clock buzzer. … More »

    NBA.com - 34 minutes ago