More Brooklyn legend Stephon Marbury, a former Knick and Net, has found respect and success in China following a series of personal and professional reversals that led to thoughts of suicide.
“I wanted to die. I wanted to kill myself some days,” Marbury said during an interview with “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” that airs on HBO on Tuesday night.
Marbury, 37, said in the HBO report that his declining NBA career, negative treatment by the media, the flop of his once popular “Starbury” sneaker line and, above all, the death of his father, teamed up to leave him clinically depressed with thoughts of taking his life.
“When everything went on with the Knicks, and my father passed on, the brand was basically losing life slowly. I was watching it. That was hurting me more than seeing my basketball career going in the direction it was going,” Marbury said.
“I was trapped in my thoughts. I was trapped in how I felt about how I felt I was treated. I was trapped with decisions that I made,” Marbury said.
In last NBA days, Stephon Marbury ‘wanted to kill’ himself
After a 2007 game, Knicks coach and president of basketball operations Isiah Thomas told Marbury his father, Don, in attendance, suffered a heart attack and later died.
“That was the most trying time. That was the depression time,” said Marbury, who played for five teams in 13 NBA seasons.
His career imploded. Teammates despised him. His shoe line failed.
“It was just so personal. It was bad. Every day I dealt with so much stuff, man. I had to deal with so many haters,” Marbury said. “It wasn’t about basketball. It started to become about me. I was that depressed and I was that sick.”
Thomas and Marbury in 2007
By Fred Kerber
Marbury played in Boston in the 2008-09 season and signed with the Chinese Basketball Association in 2010, playing for the Beijing Ducks, who won the 2012 league title. To the Chinese, the man viewed as a locker room cancer in the NBA, is beyond huge. Beijing not only houses a statue of him, but there is a musical loosely based on his life. He said he had inquiries about returning to the NBA.
“I feel forever debted to China,” Marbury said.
“To be told that you’re a loser, that you can’t win, and that you can’t do this, and you can’t do that, and then to come someplace without speaking the language with the cultural barriers, to be able to accomplish [what I have] is beyond anything,” Marbury said.
“I left one place where they was basically hating me. And I come to another place where they love me? I’m like, ‘Why would I wanna go back to a place where they hate me? That makes no sense.”