Stephon Marbury has found heaven in China, where he’s adored and is evidently being treated like an idol. His life in the eastern hemisphere is far from the one he had when he was playing for the New York Knicks, a time even Marbury himself would likely describe as forgettable. Despite the nosedive his basketball career took in the Big Apple, he wouldn’t call it the nadir of his life. That would be the time he spent preparing and playing for the 2004 U.S. Men’s Basketball team in the Olympics.
In a story by Wallace Matthews published on Complex.com, Marbury put into detail the lows and highs of his life. When the subject touched on his relationship with former Knicks and Olympics coach Larry Brown, Marbury didn’t do as much as to think twice before expressing his disdain of his experience in Athens, even telling Matthews an interesting anecdote.
Marbury says that on the first day of Olympics practice, Brown asked his players—a group that included LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, and Allen Iverson – to state their goals for the tournament.
“By the time he got to me, everything was said that needed to be said,’’ Marbury says. “So I said, ‘Let’s also not forget that we need to have fun.’ And Larry goes, ‘Huh. Listen to this guy, talking about having fun!’’’
Marbury was stung and embarrassed by Brown’s condescension. He calls the Olympic experience, “The worst 38 days of my life.’’
The 2004 Athens Olympics was the first time since the United States sent professionals to the event in 1992 in which it lost a game. In fact, Brown and his team lost twice — to Puerto Rico and Argentina — before settling for a bronze medal.