Ben Sin's profile of Stephon Marbury for this blog back in January showed Marbury playing for China's Foshan Dralions, living "a lonely, isolated life" in which he rarely left his hotel except to play basketball, avoiding the local cuisine, and trying to launch his Starbury sneaker brand in a country with an estimated 300 million basketball fans. Now, a new profile of Marbury in GQ covers much of the same ground, going deeper still into Marbury's entrepreneurial ambitions, his departure from the Shanxi Brave Dragons and subsequent arrival in Foshan, and his life in China. (Also: He explains why he ate Vaseline in a now-famous web video.) Says Marbury, in the piece: "Man, China has changed everything for me. Everything." And to quote author Wells Tower, "in person he came across as a warm, even earnest man guilelessly fond of almost everyone around him." Below, five notable quotes — ones ranging from heartfelt to bizarre — from the article.
Marbury, always the entrepreneur, on a potential new project for his Starbury Corporation:
"You just gave me an idea," he replied when I marveled at Taiyuan's grime. "Mobile car washes. Give these people a taste for being clean. I'm gonna get the schematics on that immediately."
Marbury, on attending his father's funeral in the wake of the "Sex Truck" scandal:
"It still upsets me that I didn't get to see him," he said. "And it was hard on my family--bringing my wife to his funeral when there's reporters everywhere and the whole world knows I just fucked another woman. There's nothing harder than that."
Marbury, on what he would do with all his money if the Starbury brand spread across the globe:
"I want to build my own city," he said. The settlement, he explained, would be built on a 4,000-acre cotton farm in South Carolina he had his eye on. The citizens would be "all my family members. They gonna have their own businesses, companies that will feed off of my company. I want to build my own Walmart-style store. I want to build my own hospital and school system. I'll take all the people where I'm from in Coney Island and tell them to leave everything they got inside their homes and move into our new homes. We'll have all the people sign up to be Starbury employees before they move. This is my vision of what I want to do if this thing really pops off the way I think it will if we continue to stay on the path."
Marbury, on his final season with the Knicks, after being informed by the Shanxi team that his services were no longer needed for the regular season:
"The Knicks tried to hold me hostage," he said, apropos of nothing. "They fined me 400 grand and said that I refused to play! Refused to play? D'Antoni said I wasn't playing! He said that to the world! What I refuse to do is compromise. I understand what's right and what's wrong."
Marbury, on the Vaseline incident:
"I had a sore throat. My friend's grandmother said to take Vaseline. I did, and it went away."