Stephon Marbury has gone from a being considered a phenom to an NBA All-Star to an NBA castaway. Now, he’s a virtual basketball god in China after winning three championships in the CBA with the Beijing Ducks.
On Wednesday, Marbury was in town at New York University to speak with a group of incoming freshmen. Athletes have been at the forefront of a national conversation that was sparked by the turmoil in America over the last few years. From Colin Kaepernick to LeBron James, as well as others, individuals who have entertained us on the field of play have stepped forth and spoken out on the world’s injustices.
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Marbury has been trying to battle injustice in his own way ever since he launched his Starbury Athletics brand a decade ago to provide a low-cost brand whose functionality could compete with bigger, more expensive brands.
During the Q&A session at NYU, Marbury was asked his opinion of the Big Baller Brand.
I like the idea of owning your own brand but you have to look at the price point,” he said. “When I see shoes that are $150 or $200, thats when I have a problem with it. I have no problem with people wanting to build their own brand, but when I see people getting killed for them, thats when I have a problem with it.”
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Once a kid is harmed or robbed for a pair of sneakers, thats when the conscious mind has to come into play,” he continued. “This isnt something that should be happening on Earth. When people are losing their lives over things that arent important…thats when I have to speak up. It could be my son, it could be your son, it could be my daughter, it could be somebody elses brother or sister. That doesnt resonate with me as a human being. Im trying to create that change in the mind so that people will understand that these things shouldnt be happening. Its really simple.
Economic activism is something that one rarely, if ever, sees from the corporate side of things. However, because of his low price point and his extended career in Asia, Marbury has a cult following that is making his brand profitable overseas.
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Economic activism and social activism are from the same school of thought, so naturally Marbury had a perspective to offer on Colin Kaepernick and the current environment in America.
We have to be the people who set the goal for people to aspire towards,” he said. “Our parents are the people teaching us how to grow, how to do the things that we need to do in this life the correct way. Were all role models because kids are looking up to us in a certain way. Once kids want to be that person, now you have a responsibility on how to conduct yourself. No one is perfect, everybody makes mistakes, but being able to speak out about those mistakes so that kids can understand that we are human, …we can get better from that.
Whats happening with Kaepernick, Ive never really spoken on it and this time I will speak on it,” Marbury continued. “I think the stance that hes taking, its his lane and what hes trying to carve out with his life and his situation as far as letting people know what they should be aware of. I think how hes going about it is his style and his way…When I see LeBron James stepping up, I see him outside of his box and comfort zone when hes speaking about what hes speaking about. Now that he is doing that, you can see his growth and his development. Not only as a basketball player but more so as a person.
Keep checking out The Shadow League for more from Stephon Marbury about his career in the Chinese Basketball Association, his plans for the future and much more.