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Club official defends Marbury

03-13-2012 10:48 BJT

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A Beijing Ducks official has defended Stephon Marbury amid allegations that the former NBA star had hit a fan after the team's narrow loss in Sunday's Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league game.

"None of my players and coaches saw Marbury hit someone when we exited the stadium," Beijing Ducks' deputy general manager Yuan Chao told Xinhua on Monday night.

"Surrounded by two guards, his translator and trainers, he didn't have time or space to throw a punch, not to mention kick someone."

Marbury, who scored 25 points in Beijing's 102-100 away loss to Shanxi, was accused of beating up a fan in the brawl that followed Game Four of the playoff series.

The series is now leveled at 2-2 with the deciding game scheduled for Wednesday in Beijing.

Chinese basketball fans were split over the incident, posting abusive language against each other on their Twitter-like Weibo accounts or Internet chatrooms.

Shanxi police said in a report on Monday said Marbury hit a university student named Cao Lei in the head with the water bottle and then kicked the jaw of the fallen fan with his right foot.

In Monday's interview with Beijing television BTV, Marbury denied hitting Cao, saying those who accused him of assault "must have a wild imagination".

The last minutes of Monday's semifinal game was interrupted for several minutes as Shanxi supporters threw debris and water bottles onto the court, causing the Beijing Ducks players to huddle around mid-court.

"I would never kick or punch a fan," said Marbury on Weibo. "That's not my character."

It took the Beijing team over an hour to leave the stadium as Shanxi fans crowded the team bus and shouted obscenities.

"They threw stones and other debris at the bus, breaking the front window," Yuan recalled. "We were scared when they pushed and rocked the bus. We left the stadium over one hour after we called the police."

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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