These 12 Once-Famous Players Are Now Basketball Mercenaries In Europe And China

stephon marbury china basketball player

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For most basketball players not named LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, careers in the NBA can be precariously short.For many former stars or college standouts, the best way to make money playing basketball is to head overseas.

You probably remember hearing about these 12 players over the last decade, but have completely forgotten about since.

Guess what, they’re still playing.

Stephon Marbury escaped the New York Knicks and is thriving with the Beijing Ducks, the reigning Chinese champions.

Jordan Farmar won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, but now he's scoring 13.2 points per game for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Kyle Singler was drafted by the Detroit Pistons but has spent his pro career with Real Madrid in Spain.

Andrei Kirilenko spent a decade with the Utah Jazz and was an All-Star in 2004, but returned home to Russia in 2011 to play with CSKA Moscow. He was the 2012 Euroleague MVP.

Nenad Krstic was a serviceable centre in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder, but he went Russia and won a championship in 2012 with CSKA Moscow.

Dee Brown made the cover of Sports Illustrated while at Illinois, where he was part of a 37-2 team in 2004-05. He's been overseas since 2007, and currently plays for Teramo Basket in Italy.

Sean May was part of the North Carolina team that beat Dee Brown and Illinois to win the 2005 NCAA title. After an underwhelming stint in the NBA, May is large and in charge with Fabi Shoes Montegranaro in Italy.

Hilton Armstrong, who won the 2004 NCAA title at UConn, played for a while in the NBA. Now he dunks over unsuspecting Frenchmen playing for ASVEL Basket.

Josh Boone, another UConn big man, was also on that 2004 title-winning team. After a few years with the New Jersey Nets, he went to China to play for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Chris Douglas-Roberts had his moments in the NBA after a college career at Memphis (he once scored 30 on the Miami Heat). Now he's the leader of Italian team Virtus Bologna.

Jacob Pullen took Kansas State to the Elite Eight in 2010 but went undrafted and ended up in Italy, playing for Angelico Biella. Pullen averaged over 16 points a game in his first season in Italy.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu led George Washington to a 27-3 season in 2005-06, but failed to latch on with an NBA team after going undrafted. He's now in Turkey with Besiktas Milangaz.

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