Stephon Marbury is hoping to give basketball fans the throwback of the century by attempting an NBA return at age 41.
That iota of hope is held together by the possibility that an NBA team would consider signing a player well past his prime. Those are longshot odds even for a former two-time NBA All-Star who has remained active in international play.
“I’m making a #nba come back for the fans who want to see me play my last year as a pro,” Marbury posted on Instagram on Tuesday. “After hearing so many people say come back I finally prayed about it and gave it major thought. I thought the perfect ending would of been retiring with the Beijing Ducks but it’s clear the GM had other thoughts which is fine. My love for the ducks will always be A1 from day 1. I still have a lot of go in me as a player and at 40 being able to play at a high level is a gift.”
The truth: Marbury hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2008-2009 season. Just to put that in perspective, LeBron James had zero championships at that time and Steph Curry was still playing ball at Davidson College. By the time Marbury is eligible to return, it will be nearly a decade since he played NBA ball.
He is currently playing overseas in China with the Beijing Fly Dragons. After fulfilling his one-year deal, he is expected to retire from international ball and try his luck at a final run in the NBA, although it might take more than luck to make it back to the big stage at this point.
Marbury was one of the most exciting players to watch in his prime.
Young Stephon Marbury was a lot of fun to watch pic.twitter.com/OJPQDmSBOj
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) September 12, 2017
During his best years, he was averaging 20 points a game and eight assists. He has recaptured that magic to a certain degree while playing overseas.
However, the gap in competition can’t be overstated. There’s a huge difference in averaging 20 points on an international team and doing it in the NBA, consistently competing against the best players in the world. Marbury hasn’t faced that level of competition in nearly a decade.
It would swallow him whole the same way it did when he was pushed out of the league all those years ago.