The Stephon Marbury Experience

stephonFor those of you that didn’t know, hadn’t heard or simply didn’t care, Stephon Marbury just completed a 24hr webcast and live chat on Ustream this morning. The broadcast started at 6am PST yesterday from his home in LA and history was made a little over an hour ago.

After hearing about it I was initially going to ignore it, yet when I tuned in I spent a considerable part of my day yesterday and the last 20 minutes of the broadcast today watching. I can honestly say that once you tuned in, you couldn’t take your eyes off it. It’s not that there was anything overly spectacular going on, but it was just interesting to get a candid, inside look at the man known as Starbury.

Fans who logged into the chat were allowed to ask questions and he answered a whole lot of them, including the stupid ones. He even answered quite a few of my questions, responded to some of my comments, and gave my two sons a shout out that were watching with me as well. He also took a lot of heat from some of the haters who logged in just to take jabs at him, yet he responded very gracefully although at times you could tell he was a little frustrated by it.

He was also very open and engaging. He talked about his relationship with God and showed that he was a real student of the Bible. He explained why he no longer wears jewelry. He talked about the comments LeBron James made about him during his refusal to suit up for the Knicks and why based on that, he felt the two could never play together. He talked about the situation in New York between himself, James Dolan, Mike D’Antoni and Isiah Thomas. And there were other moments where his candidness bordered on being uncomfortable.

He talked about the incident where he cheated on his wife. He talked about the night his father died and his last moments alive in the back of the ambulance. He talked about losing his virginity because he was molested as a child. And this is just from what I saw. There’s no telling what else he talked about when I wasn’t watching. Still, the fact that he even spoke on these things and didn’t hold anything back gave me a newly found respect for him and you could see that this was not the same guy that came into the league 14 years ago.

Admittedly, I can say that I was a Marbury hater. Like most of us, I shaped my opinion on what I’d seen and heard about him in the media. But this event really changed my mind about him and I wish the best for him in his career. He’s not concerned with being one of the games elite players anymore, instead he’s more concerened with being a better person and helping as many people as he can. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

Stephon Marbury Is Officially A Celtic!!

A picture truly is worth a thousand words…

Stephon Marbury - Celtics

Stephon Marbury – Free At Last!!

StephThe arbitration hearing between Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks over the $400,000 team fine levied to him for his refusal to play earlier in the season, has ended up with a buyout agreement being reached by both parties today.

Starbury is Free!!

After he clears waivers on Thursday, he will be free to sign with any team that he wants which in this case should be the Boston Celtics who also signed ex-Sacramento King center Mikki Moore earlier today.

Stephon reportedly gave up $2 million of the $20.8 million that that the Knicks owed him; not a bad deal if you ask me. Especially if he can get a championship out of it. I know that people are going to question why the C’s would risk signing him given his baggage and his history of bringing teams down, but I say why not? He’s an All-Star PG and a legitimate scoring threat that will be backing up Rajon Rondo who is none of the above. The reward definitely outweighs the risk in this situation. There is something about winning that can turn a head case into a model citizen. When the Bulls signed Dennis Rodman, he was already a certified nut! That deal turned out OK wouldn’t you say?

I’m more concerned with Steph’s inactivity. He hasn’t played in a regular season NBA game in over a year so there’s no question that the rust is going to be there. He just has to find a way to fit in with the team and contribute down the stretch. If he’s able to do that then I’d say Danny Ainge might have a career as a professional gambler after his GM days are over with!

Stephon Marbury – Seeing Green?

Stephon MarburyHappy New Year everybody! I haven’t written anything in a while due to the holidays…spending time with the wife & kids and stuff, you know how it is. But it’s back to “work” and I wanted to address the rumor that’s been floating around for over a week now and that’s Stephon Marbury joining the Boston Celtics.

Remember when Steph showed up courtside at the Knicks/Lakers game out in LA last month? Well, he did an interview and said that the team that he was going to, people were going to be “shocked” about it. Well, he wasn’t lying about that. Who could’ve ever imagined Starbury in a Celtics uni? Certainly not I. But let me say this…I like it! And not only do I like it, but I think it could work. I know that the teams that he’s played for in his career have never won anything and usually when he suits up for a squad it instantly goes down. But when you have the “Big Ticket”, “Jesus” and “The Truth” on a squad, it can cancel out the curse of Starbury.

Nobody in the Celtics locker room seems opposed to the idea, especially not KG who a lot of  people felt he didn’t like Steph because of what happened in Minnesota. But he’s given the move a vote of confidence along with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and although not publicly, Doc Rivers. From a basketball perspective, it gives them depth where they lack it most and that’s at the PG spot. Sam Cassell is like a hundred years old and he’s been in street clothes lately and Eddie House we all know is not a PG. When Rondo goes out it’s almost like it’s PG by committee and Steph could help out a lot.

As far as him being a disruption, I don’t see that happening either. He probably won’t be signed long term, he’ll be like PJ Brown was last year. And since the C’s won it all last year and are favored to repeat, winning cures all and expect to see Stephon on his best behavior if and when he does sign. The only question now is will the Knicks pull the trigger and buy him out, especially with this rumor floating around? They still have hopes of trading him which isn’t going to happen, let’s face it. And the last thing I’m sure the Knicks organization wants to see is the biggest pain in their you know what going to a Eastern Conference rival and championship contender and winning a ring. As I like to say all the time…we’ll see how this one plays out. Stay tuned.

Stephon Marbury – BANNED!!

starburyYesterday the New York Knicks officially parted ways with Stephon Marbury by banishing him from the team (with pay). He will not be allowed to participate in practice or attend any games. This likely means that nothing will be done until January 1st when the Knicks will probably release him.

Marbury attended a meeting yesterday with James Dolan and an attorney from the players union hoping to settle on a buyout. Stephon offered to sacrifice $1 million dollars in order to leave the team, but it seems that both sides are about $2 million dollars apart. After 15 minutes Steph left the meeting and was told to stay away from the team.

And this is exactly the reason why I’m not a Stephon Marbury/Starbury fan. Steph says he’ll be happy to take $20.9 million in order to leave, the Knicks apparently offered him $18.9 million…so what’s the big deal!? C’mon Steph, it’s not like you’re in the poor house! $3 million dollars isn’t going to make or break you. Everybody knows who’s at fault in this situation, but you’re now making yourself just as responsible for being a part of the problem. Just take the money and get on with your life and your career. I would…

Starbury Sounds Off…And It’s About Time!!

So we’re a month into the season and it looks like the ongoing saga in New York will be coming to an end soon. How do I know this? Because even though Stephon Marbury has been quiet, his alter ego “Starbury” has started talking! 

StephIt started last week when he said that the marriage was over and that he wouldn’t trust D’Antoni to walk his dog across the street. Then he was fined $400K for refusing to play. Yesterday, he called out his teammates by saying that they haven’t given him any support whatsoever, particularly taking exception to the comments made by Quentin Richardson. For those of you that don’t know, a few years back the two almost came to blows during a practice and that relationship has been pretty much non-existent since then. So according to Starbury, he was in a foxhole with his guys and then got shot in the head; not by the enemy, but by one of them.

As evidenced by recent behavior it’s clear that Stephon Marbury is a good dude, but the Starbury character isn’t exactly a model teammate by any means. When things don’t go his way he starts to pout and sulk and that type of behavior ultimately brings the team down, so in my opinion he shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of support from him teammates. All of the blame in this situation goes directly to Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh. This whole thing has now become a distraction that they’ve created because to his credit, Stephon Marbury has been a model citizen through all of this. Me personally, I was bored with the “PC” sound bites he had been giving lately and I’ve been patiently awaiting the return of Starbury!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  if he wasn’t in their plans then they should’ve let him go instead of sticking him on the bench in street clothes and then trying to play him only when they needed him to. That’s like breaking up with your live-in girlfriend but not wanting her to move out of the house…you know, just in case you ever “need” her for something! That’s just plain dumb! Donnie Walsh needs to put his ego and pride in having never bought out a player to the side and get this thing resolved. If you allow him to remain inactive and sit him on the bench for a whole year while paying him his full salary you’ve essentially bought him out anyway, so what’s the difference? You’re still not getting any return on your investment. It’s time for everyone to move on and part ways. There is no need to continue to drag this thing out.

Stephon Marbury – Refuses To Play, And I Don’t Blame Him

Knicks Bucks Basketball

So Friday when the Knicks traded away Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins the move left them short handed for their game in Milwaukee against the Bucks. League rules state that a team must have 8 active players in order to prevent a forfeit. Coach Mike D’Antoni asked Marbury to dress, and he did. He also told him that there would be 30 to 35 minutes of playing time available to him if he wanted to play. Marbury chose to sit on the bench in his uniform.

When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. Coach D’Antoni has said all along that Stephon Marbury would not be a part of the Knicks plans and that they were going in a different direction. Now that three of their players had been traded away — two of them being starters and first and second in scoring on the team — it was one thing to ask him to dress to avoid a forfeit, but then to tell him that there were minutes available if he wanted them…well, that just goes to a whole new level of wrong! I don’t blame Steph for not playing because I wouldn’t have played either. In the media coach D’Antoni made it seem like he refused to play but Steph had a different account, one that when the coach offered him the minutes he reminded him of what the coach had been saying from the beginning of the season. I will say that Stephon Marbury has changed and teams in the league should take notice. The “old” Stephon Marbury would’ve cussed Mike D’Antoni out behind something like that, but instead he took the high road and he certainly should be commended for it. He certainly responded better than I would have given the circumstances.

As far as I’m concerned, Mike D’Antoni was DEAD WRONG for even approaching him with an offer to play. He publicly made himself look like an idiot and a jerk! When he had a full squad he stuck to his guns and refused to play Stephon. Now, due to trades you’re short handed and you want him to play and then when you have a full team again you’re just going to bury him back on the end of the bench? No way! I used to have a lot of respect for him as a coach and a person, but not anymore. He doesn’t deserve any for what he did. Good for you Steph! This is a classic case of “you’ll need me before I need you.”