China Post has gifted former NBA star and current Beijing Ducks player Stephon Marbury his very own museum.
Well, mostly his very own, for in one of the more bizarre colabs of 2015, China Post has teamed up with the New York-native to open the 'House of Marbury' (mabuli zhijia, 马布里之家 ), a three-parts Marbury, one-part stamp museum in downtown Beijing. Most of the displayed stamps literally have nothing to do with the Marbury whatsoever. You couldn't make this stuff up.
Here are some ancient gorilla stamps.
For those not familiar with Stephon 'Starbury' Marbury, the man is a professional basketball player and adopted Beijing hero. His four year contribution to Beijing basketball, including three titles, has already been honoured with a huge bronze statue at the Ducks stadium, a lifelong Chinese visa, and, most importantly, a starring role in the enigmatic Chinese bio-musical 'I am Marbury'
, during which Marbury offers, charitably, 'I am Marbury. You are Marbury. We are all Marbury.' Too right.
Being Stephon Marbury
Conversely, in the USA Marbury is seen as something of a joke. As such, the 'House of Marbury' tells a heavily edited tale of Marbury's rise from promising high school baller to two-time NBA All-Star, graciously omitting the plummet in form and subsequent online bug-outs that saw him flee to China six years ago. Here is one of them [VPN on].
Click the bug-out
The museum is mostly filled with high school trophies and Encouragement Awards from fast food chain McDonald's (seriously), though there are a few gems in the gift shop, where in a stroke of marketing genius, China Post has managed to weave its two interests (stamps and Stephon Marbury) into a cohesive, Marbury the Postman postcard series. Here are our faves.
1. Marbury's rancid foot on grey wall
No explanation provided in either Chinese or English. Just a manky foot.
2. Certificate of Appreciation from a primary school
In this certificate we are transported to a simpler time, a time where Marbury was just an 'Outstanding Role Model'. That'll be before he ate a whole tub of Vaseline and posted it on YouTube, then.
3. Marbury the Weeping Postman
Whatever the cause, be it the burden of that big head, that three-car traffic jam, or the clause in the contract that dictates your museum be China Post-related, Marbury is visibly upset. This is our first insight into a more sensitive Marbury. Note the cones that have toppled over around an 'under construction' sign, reflecting the sense of hopelessness and despair gushing through that stream of tears. Or something.
4. Letter from Bill Clinton to some random that mentions Marbury
In this tell-all letter from then-US President Bill Clinton, Marbury's fans can glean that the president would have liked to attend the basketball match with this 'Law–' character, but declined due to a prior engagement with the inbound Jamaican prime minister. Clinton goes on to boldly declare his support for Stephon Marbury, and posits that with him, this 'Law–' has the makings of a 'good' team.
House of Marbury 18 Jianguomen Dajie, Dongcheng district. Open 9am-6pm Mon-Fri. Free (well, it'd have to be, wouldn't it?). Venue details here.