Newsday’s Greg Logan on the Knicks’ Stephon Marbury, who says (some of) the right things after being buried by Larry Brown in the coach’s postgame press conference Wednesday night.
“Hey, man, I love New York, and I want to be here more than anything,” Marbury volunteered in an interview after practice. “Whatever it’s going to take for me to win, I’m going to do it because I feel like New York deserves it … If it’s sacrificing my game, I’m willing to do that.”
In Marbury’s view, that’s exactly what he was doing in Orlando when he took only three shots in the first three quarters and finished with five points, 0-for-7 shooting and three assists.
Marbury said he passed up open shots to get better ones for teammates, which is what Brown wants from his point guard.
Brown was in no mood to add fuel to the fire yesterday, declaring the incident over. But he did not back off his critical postgame comments. Performance fluctuates from game to game, but Brown said, “In my mind, he had a lot of good looks [in Orlando] that he didn’t look to take. I think you can hurt your team by doing that.
The point guard from Coney Island (above), who has been traded three times, acknowledged the possibility of a fourth trade, but he’s not asking out.
“I can’t do nothing about that, but like I said, I love New York more than anything, and I’ll do anything to be in New York,” Marbury said. “This is the place I grew up at, loving to play basketball and being a fan of New York.”
Marbury said the thought of leaving “never crossed my mind.” He hasn’t talked to Thomas about his desire to remain with the Knicks, but then again, Marbury said that’s not necessary.
“My heart and my soul say that,” Marbury said. “My heart and my soul bleed New York colors. I know that, and I believe everybody else knows that.”
It’s plain to see Marbury doesn’t enjoy Brown’s emphasis on defense and a structured offense that takes the ball out of his hands to stress ball movement and an inside-out attack. But Marbury insisted, “I made the adjustment. So I’m willing, and I’m ready.”
Curiously, Brown and Marbury discussed their views openly with reporters but never spoke to each other about what happened in Orlando. The one question Marbury refused to answer was about his relationship with Brown, and when asked if he needs to talk to Brown about his role as point guard, Marbury snapped, “I don’t need to talk to him. He needs to come tell me what he wants me to do if that’s what he feels is the case.”
So things aren’t exactly hunky-dory in paradise, but Marbury even went so far as to say, “I love [Cablevision CEO James] Dolan for bringing me here. Like I said, once we all get to the point where we’ve had enough [of losing], then that’s when it’s going to be enough.”
The New York Post’s Peter Vescey, unsurprisingly, finds much to mock in the Marbury/Brown stalemate.
Only genius can get away with the infantile concept of starting players in their college or home town, or in David Lee’s case, home state. One day you’re thrown into Brown’s moth ball drawer, the next day you’re being introduced with four other irregulars. And here all this time I believed sports was about winning, not playing to the crowd.
The catch is, Lee hails from St. Louis, Mo., and played at the University of Florida at Gainesville, not anywhere near Orlando. Worse yet, Brown assigned the 6-9 power ranger to cover Grant Hill, who, despite four ankle operations, is still infinitely more mobile than Lee.
It’s as if Brown picked his starting lineup out of hat in anticipation of getting sawed in half at the Magic Kingdom. I’d like to see the alpha waves that comprise Brown’s thought process when he Etch-A-Sketches his nightly starters. Is there some essay contest on the team plane? Does he go up and down the aisles asking, “I’m thinking of a number between . . . ?” Is there speed-dial with the Psychic Friends Network?
Adding insult to our already insulted intelligence, four members of Wednesday night’s queasy quintet didn’t see as much as 17 minutes of daylight. Stephon Marbury (0-7, three assists in 40 malicious minutes) was the only one who did, and he didn’t deserve 17 seconds of unsupervised activity.
Transit workers, who recognize a strike when they see one, claim they gave New York City more production than that during their nearly three-day work stoppage. Question is, why would Brown leave Marbury in there for so long if he felt he was laying down on the job? Seems like both men went out of their way to embarrass each other and each was very effective.