Perhaps lost amidst the coverage of Allan Iverson’s recent debut in Istanbul, the status of NBA veteran Stephon Marbury’s playing career in China has been largely ignored of late. That is, until Jon Pastuzek of NIUBBall reported that Marbury’s negotiations with Shanxi Zhongyu — with whom the Coney Island product reportedly signed a 3-year deal over the summer — had fallen apart.  Badly.

When Marbury returned to the States, he sent back another contract filled with other clauses, including one stipulating that the team must re-sign Maurice Taylor, who played with Marbury on Shanxi last year, for another year. Adding to that, Marbury also requested that the two be put up in a five-star hotel in Taiyuan, as well as an apartment complete with a private chef and maids, all at the team™s expense.  The two sides met up again in Las Vegas in October while the team was training, but were unable to come to an agreement.

After Shanxi management returned to China, there was hope from the team that something would eventually be worked out, and they put in the business cooperation clause into the official contract as a sign of good faith.  However, when they sent over the new version to Marbury in America, he came out with even more requests: a $30,000 insurance policy for both his wife and child and roundtrip plane tickets for everyone.

Scared that negotiations would break down completely while the two were apart, Shanxi paid for Marbury™s plane ticket and met with him in Taiyuan, along with the team™s main sponsor, Shanxi Fenjiu, and the Shanxi provincial sports bureau.  After talking, the four pronged discussions ended with Shanxi deciding to give up their pursuit of Marbury.

Elsewhere in the article, Shanxi GM Zhang Aijun raises the specter of  Marbury’s fitness — physical, that is. Though if U-Stream isn’t blocked by Chinese authorities, there might’ve been additional questions.