In China, Stephon Marbury Is a Hit

In China, Stephon Marbury Is a Hit

He doesn't like Chinese food much, has to fly economy instead of by private jet and makes a tiny fraction of the $20 million he earned each year playing basketball for the New York Knicks.

But after alienating fans, the press and a string of coaches back home in America, NBA bad-boy Stephon Marbury is happy to be in a country where people clamor for his autograph. His new Chinese team, the Foshan Dragon Lions, doesn't win much - it's now fourth from the bottom of the league - yet local fans and media still applaud the biggest American name in Chinese basketball.

"China is a positive place, what can I say," said Marbury, who during his time with the Knicks, from 2004 to 2009, became so unpopular that the New York Daily News called him "the most reviled athlete in New York." The Chinese, unlike Americans - and particularly New Yorkers - "don't fill their souls with negativity," said the 34-year-old point guard, who is known here in China as Ma-bu-li.

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