Stephon Marbury’s basketball journey has, in many ways, seemed almost like two separate careers: one as an NBA player from 1996 to 2009, another as a Chinese Basketball Association megastar from 2010 until now.
Marbury, 43, is still in China, now as a coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters, and he is helping fight the coronavirus outbreak by attempting to get 10 million masks from China to New York City. New York is one of the hardest-hit regions in the world.
He felt he had to help when the Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, reached out about sourcing some masks. Marbury, born and raised in Brooklyn and a point guard with the Knicks from 2004 to 2009, said the coronavirus has touched his family deeply.
“I lost my cousin to this virus, my little cousin Sebastian, his older brother, we lost him two days ago. His mom is fighting for her life right now because of this virus,” Marbury said in a video interview with the Undefeated. “It’s pretty difficult and it’s a trying time, and staying focused and trying to handle the things that I need to handle.”
"I'm trying to help my borough, I'm trying to help New York, I'm trying to help America and provide an access to the masks."@StarburyMarbury saw firsthand the deadly impact of COVID-19. He has answered his home state's call for help and is working to provide masks to New York. pic.twitter.com/BC9FKg1tDA
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) March 31, 2020
Marbury said he has friends in China who manufacture the masks and the other equipment needed in New York. He has been in frequent communication with them about how to get the materials to America.
In a video with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Marbury discussed getting access to 10 million FDA-approved medical masks and arranging for them to be sold to the state of New York for much cheaper than masks produced in the United Sates.
“Right now, we’re at the last phase where the sample of the mask has [gone] out to America and we’ll be receiving them within the next day or two,” Marbury said.
Marbury, who professes faith in Christ, knows that working tirelessly to love others in need is what Jesus told His followers to do. Marbury’s Twitter bio says in part: “JESUS IS REAL! God Is Love, Love Is God…”
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) March 27, 2020
Marbury, who sometimes feuded with his coaches in the NBA, said in a 2012 article for The Christian Post that God has the power to turn lives around. In 2012, Marbury credited Christ after having a bronze statue built in his honor in China.
“Trust when God speaks to you,” Marbury tweeted at the time, according to The Christian Post article. “I trust my connection with the most high. The NBA isn’t the only place to play.”
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