• Beijing Ducks point guard Stephon Marbury.

Beijing Ducks point guard Stephon Marbury. (Photo : Getty Images)

Chinese Basketball Association icon Stephon Marbury announced that his ill feelings toward the NBA have been put to rest and is now seeing the league in a new light.

It happened on Oct. 14 when the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans were in Beijing for a preseason game.

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A former NBA superstar, Marbury refused to interact with his old league and said that he wouldn't have attended the game since he doesn't know how he would be treated.

But when the NBA was informed by ESPN that Marbury was in town, it offered the 6-foot-3 point guard access to a suite. It is where former competitor Gary Payton, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and former NBA Inside Stuff host Ahmad Rashad showed up.

Silver called Marbury a trailblazer to a lot of American players who have followed him in China and asked the ex-NBA player to visit him at the league office in Manhattan.

The 39-year-old Marbury accepted an invitation from the NBA to sit courtside in the second half. When Marbury's name was announced, the crowd cheered for him just as loudly as they did for Yao Ming.

Marbury was nearly brought to tears by the NBA reunion and said he feels a "different energy" about the NBA.

"I feel good. I feel like everything was put to rest," Marbury said.

In 13 years with the NBA, Marbury averages 19.3 points, 7.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He averaged over 21 points and eight assists while playing for the New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns.

Marbury believes his NBA career started spiraling when he asked to be traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves since the harsh Minneapolis winters were just too cold for him. His departure in 1999 from the Timberwolves ended his star team up with Kevin Garnett.

He added that being outspoken in nature didn't jibe with the NBA, and that former NBA commissioner David Stern was not a fan of his either.

Then his coach with the New York Knicks, Mike D'Antoni, benched him during the 2008-09 season before he was released on Feb. 21, 2009. That season was also Marbury's last in the NBA, which culminated with him coming off the bench for the Boston Celtics.

After turning down his lone NBA offer with the Celtics during the 2009 offseason, Marbury headed to China in Jan. 2010 and became the first notable NBA player to play there.

Marbury has become an iconic basketball figure in Beijing after leading the Ducks to their first Chinese Basketball Association title and three in four years.

There are statues of him outside their home arena and practice arena. There is a Marbury museum about 5 kilometers from Tiananmen Square and a Broadway-type musical centering on his life.

He is also acting as the lead in "My Other Home," a Chinese film based on his life that will debut in 2017.

Marbury, a holder of a Chinese green card, also has been fetured in a Chinese postage stamp and was cited as a role model by Beijing.

Marbury said he didn't entertain an inquiry from the Houston Rockets after winning his first title in China in 2012.

Three championships and six years later, the old Marbury is back in China and is averaging 21.8 points, a team-high 6.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 34.6 minutes per game through 18 contests for Beijing this season.

Although he will turn 40 years old on Feb. 20, 2017, he is open to continuing his playing career in China for several more seasons.

Marbury's success in China made it easy for him to put his bitter ending with the NBA behind him. He feels it wasn't important to rekindle the flame with the NBA, but it needed to be done.

"Now we're moving forward," Marbury quipped.