How Former NBA Player Beat Depression After His Life Fell Apart


stephon_marburyBy Victor Ochieng

Former NBA player-turned-Chinese Basketball Association star Stephon Marbury is living proof that people can turn their lives around for the better even after going through adversity and depression. The 37-year old was faced with a struggling basketball career, a suffering sneaker company, and the death of his father in 2007.

Around 2009, it was clear that the former NBA All-Star was going through difficult times. He started posting videos of himself crying and eating Vaseline. For some, it was a source of jokes while for others it was too horrifying to watch. Marbury admits to have contemplated committing suicide that year.

“I wanted to die. I wanted to kill myself some days,” Marbury said in an interview on “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” which will air on Tuesday night on HBO. “I did. … It wasn’t about basketball. It started to become about me. Because I was that depressed and I was that sick.”

Marbury started facing several challenges starting in 2004 due to disciplinary matters. He often had exchanges with his coaches. His future was seemingly going down the drain in a similar way to how several other NBA stars before him had self-destructed. The player had a stint on the New York Knicks where he had unending troubles before moving to the Boston Celtics. He last played in the NBA in 2009.

The fact that his company, the Marbury Sneakers Company, was doing badly hurt him even more than his basketball career.

“When everything went on with the Knicks, and my father passed on, the brand was basically losing life slowly. I was watching it. That was hurting me more than seeing my basketball career going in the direction it was going,” Marbury said. “I was trapped in my thoughts. I was trapped in how I felt about how I felt I was treated. I was trapped with decisions that I made.”

After going through the depression and seeing nothing in his future, he made up his mind to give himself one more chance in life.

In 2010, Marbury joined the Chinese Basketball Association where he plays for the league title-holders, the Beijing Ducks.

While in the NBA, Marbury was like a cancer. But in China, he became a force to be reckoned with, steering the Ducks to their title. The player even has his statue right in the heart of Beijing.

“To be told that you’re a loser, that you can’t win, and that you can’t do this, and you can’t do that, and then to come someplace without speaking the language with the cultural barriers, to be able to accomplish [what I have]is beyond anything,” Marbury said.

The player says that he will forever owe his success to China.

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