Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Marbury: A Tale Of Two People

Imagine this scenario: Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni inherit the Knicks and look over the roster. Walsh decides to rebuild around the core of youngster the Knicks have and use New York’s marquee status to aim for a big free agent in 2010.

At point guard Walsh has the incumbent Stephon Marbury. The key acquisition of the Isiah Thomas era, Stephon is scheduled to earn $21M in the last year of his deal. Marbury, an older overpaid guard, doesn’t fit in with the Knicks long term plans of youth & fiscal responsibility. In fact the team is looking to dump many of their long term deals. So the Knicks sign Chris Duhon as a stop gap point guard for the next two season, and in turn make Marbury a lame duck player.

With no need for him, Walsh attempts to buy out Stephon, but Marbury is uncooperative and won’t accept anything less than his full salary. So with no other options, the Knicks try to find a spot in the rotation for Marbury. However they’re already set with their starters (Duhon and Crawford), and D’Antoni finds his skills to overlap Crawford’s (a shoot happy guard who didn’t play defense and worked better with the ball than away from it). The Knicks coach preferred to have more diversity with his rotation (Duhon – distributor, Crawford – scorer, Robinson – energy scorer, Collins – defender). D’Antoni informs Marbury of the decision to keep him out of the rotation. He gives Stephon the option to play spot minutes and the guard declines.

The team is content to keep Marbury on the bench until a spot opens up due to injury or trade. However at the Knicks home opener, a group of fans cheer “We Want Steph” (which results in a string of expletives from Mike D’Antoni). Sensing a media fiasco if the fans continue to call for Marbury, D’Antoni & Walsh agree to keep him inactive to take away the option of inserting Stephon into a game.

Fast forward to Friday’s game. With the team trading two guards from their rotation, the team tells Marbury that there’s a place in the rotation with major minutes for him. They offer 30+ minutes to Stephon, but the guard refuses to play.

The above story is fiction, because I have no access to Mike D’Antoni, Donnie Walsh, or Stephon Marbury’s thoughts. However many of the facts are true. D’Antoni was quoted as saying “I did not want to embarrass [Marbury] by spot minutes. We talked about it, and it was both our decision that he go on inactive.” According to the New York Post, D’Antoni told Stephon that “[Jamal Crawford] is gone … there’s 30-35 minutes out there that’s yours if you want them.” Even if you reject the fictional aspect of the above account, using the facts that I based the story on there’s only one logical conclusion: Stephon Marbury’s ego prevented him from rejoining the team.

I’d like to think of myself as a person that will listen to both sides of an argument, but I can’t imagine any scenario that would justify Marbury’s actions. This could have been a marriage of opportunity. The team lost two guards yesterday, so there are plenty of minutes to go around even with the arrival of Mobley. Last night Marbury could have asserted himself as the starting SG for the rest of the season. But on Friday night when the team clearly needed him, Stephon chose himself. He left his teammates to suffer a 17 point loss to a Redd-less Milwaukee. If Marbury had any friends in that clubhouse, he surely lost them after the Bucks game.

Stephon Marbury is defined by his opposing extremes. Marbury’s incredible strengths as a player (scoring in the paint, running the pick & roll) made him desired by teams. But his inability to work on the things to make himself a complete player (defense, operate outside the pick & roll) left him unwanted by the teams he was on. Unlike many athletes who use sneaker contracts to make themselves rich, Marbury created an inexpensive line of sneakers to benefit those that can’t afford to overpay for footwear. But his philanthropy has been undermined by his other actions. There are many to name, but the two that come to mind are his testimony of sleeping with an intern, and his threat to blackmail his coach.

Stephon Marbury has decided he won’t play for the Knicks anymore. But by refusing to play for his team this weekend, he’s hurt his chance to play elsewhere. I can’t imagine another team out there saying “hey Stephon refused to play for his team when they needed him – that’s the kind of attitude we want in our locker room!” Marbury has said he’d like to play in Italy, but which NBA coach do you think an Italian team is going to call to inquire if they should sign Stephon? Right the same one Marbury is currently driving crazy.

Stephon Marbury is his own best friend and his own worst enemy at the same time. Last night was a prime example of it.

122 comments on “Marbury: A Tale Of Two People

  1. knickfan

    Are u kidding? Marbury would have only played in 2 games before the traded players can play. If Marbury can’t beat out Mardy Collins and Roberson, how is going to play in front of Mobley? And with Harrington,Thomas and also Jeffries going to play up front, Q-Rich will see more time at the 2. This was not a long term option. Dantoni wanted Marbury to play because he was desperate for the games against the bucks and the wiz.

  2. farfel

    He was told to report to training camp in the best shape of his life. He did so. He received a DNP opening night. Went inactive after that.

    He has not practiced for over 2 weeks. He is not in game shape. The guy was available to play; he is not ready to play.

    It’s a terrible situation for all involved. Considering the tens of millions this team has spent in recent years – the wasteful, ridiculous tens of millions – the standoff over single digit millions seems academic; if that’s possible.

    Blame goes both ways. Steph is no saint and far from it; the team is also not beyond reproach.

  3. cavjam

    He has not practiced for over 2 weeks. He is not in game shape. The guy was available to play; he is not ready to play.

    Blame goes both ways. Steph is no saint and far from it; the team is also not beyond reproach.

    The blame lies entirely with one person – Marbury and his preening, puerile vanity.

    I work eight, nine hours a day, six days a week. I still go to the gym 5 times a week. I could pull 20 minutes on the floor and I’m a helluva lot older than SM. How is a professional athlete not in shape to play? Either your claim is spurious, or Marbury’s a lazy bum. Even if he’s not in the keenest shape, there’s an obligation on the part of an employee to at least make an effort. If he winds up being a detriment, he can then sit.

    Marbury’s a disgrace to professional athletics as I’ve honestly never seen before. I wonder if his noncompliance isn’t a breach of contract.

  4. jon abbey

    yeah, no matter what else has happened, it’s a joke for him not to stay in game shape. again, this is one of the three highest paid players in THE ENTIRE LEAGUE.

  5. jon abbey

    FWIW, I read that Antonio McDyess accepted $9 million less than his contract for Denver to buy him out and let him go where he wanted. that’s how professionals should handle things, if they want to play elsewhere but are still under contract.

    I’ve also read that NY wants Marbury to take $5 million less to buy him out, which seems quite fair all around. they still pay him $16 million to be a sullen, selfish bitch, and he gets to go play elsewhere, which I’m quite sure will not end well.

  6. Ted Nelson

    Ted – I am in total agreement about the Crawford trade, Harrington is not a bad player but I would have liked to see at least one potential long term piece in these two trades. I would rather have scrub with one/two year contract plus late first or ok prospect over Harrington, but I am still satisfied with the trades and look forward to a Knicks team without Randolph.
    As for Harrington, Mobley and Thomas the one positive about all three players is they have shown the ability to shoot the 3 better than anyone currently on the Knicks, all three have had multiple better than 40% from the 3pt line seasons. That could really help since D’Antoni’s offense creates so many open looks from downtown. Also I think Mobley is a solid defender and can see a Raja Bell kind of role. Harrington is also a good defender and Thomas is no worse than Randolph. So our defense should improve, and our shooting should improve. My big worry is that Lee is the the only player on the whole roster who is even average at rebounding from the 4 or 5. So I see us getting killed on the glass.

    Thought it best to move this to the new thread.
    I agree about the 3-point shooting, although, not completely with the “better than anyone currently on the Knicks” part: Robinson is better from behind the arc than Thomas & Harrington on his career and Jamal (.455), Nate (.409), and Q (.403) were/are all hitting over 40% for D’Antoni. Bringing in 3 good outside shooters is a part of this deal that everyone seems to be overlooking, though. (So is getting rid of everyone’s man-crush Zach Randolph, which you also point out.)

    Also agree about the rebounding. There are some reasons not to be too worried about it, though. Lee is at 12 rpg the last 2 games, stepping right up for Randolph after taking a secondary role on the glass all season. I think Lee actually provides a boost over Zach on the offensive glass (career 11.7 OReb-rate vs. Zach’s of 10.0), which apparently D’Antoni wants only one of his bigmen attacking. A few perimeter players (Nate, Q, and Duhon) will compensate a little for the lack of interior rebounding. Really, the Knicks have to make up for their lack of rebounding with more efficient offense and defense, we’ll see how that goes. I’m hopeful that the offense will improve and don’t really see the defense getting much worse.

    The defense is the only part I disagree with you on. I think Mobley is a solidly below average defender. I know people look at Nate and think “someone so little cannot guard bigger players in the magical starting lineup” (that pretty much paraphrases some previous posts people have left) but he’s as good defender than Mobley, a much better offensive player, and guards 2s on a regular basis anyway… I say START NATE or if not start Q who is definitely a better defender than Mobley. Mobley hasn’t made the Clippers better on defense since the first season he got there (when he made them less than a point per 100 possessions better) and made them 6.4 points per 100 poss. worse so far this season.
    I think Harrington is a mediocre defender who should provide a slight boost over Randolph. (Only slight because Randolph has like 50 pounds on him and could front big low-post scorer, and his rebounding stops other team’s possessions.)
    Tim Thomas is probably as good a defender as Harrington, IMO, although he’s been struggling on both sides of the ball so far this season.
    On the whole I don’t think the defense gets worse, and maybe it improves. We’ll see what happens on both sides of the ball once the schedule gets harder, though.

  7. Ted Nelson

    I completely agree that not playing in the Bucks game was inexcusable, but I think a lot of your fictional story is a revisionist history and goes too far to bash Steph based on his reputation and a newfound/re-found hate for him in the wake of the Bucks game.

    I read no reports that Walsh approached Marbury about a buyout in the summer, in fact, all the reports I read through the first few games of the season said that Walsh had NEVER approached Marbury about a buyout. When he did finally approach Stephon, Walsh was well within his rights to say “we’re not going to let you go unless you take a paycut” and Marbury was well within his to say “don’t cut me loose then because I’m not taking a paycut.” It’s pretty obvious that Steph losses more than the Knicks in every non-financial sense, but Steph’s obviously comfortable with the arrangement.

    As far as I know, your quote from D’Antoni and “D’Antoni informs Marbury of the decision to keep him out of the rotation. He gives Stephon the option to play spot minutes and the guard declines” both happened AFTER the season started, not before. This is where I think your account gets a bit revisionist and one-sided.

    While Marbury made a terrible decision not to play when called upon, I think D’Antoni had to know how it was going to play out before he made the proposition. Running to tell the media in order to come out looking like the good guy and bash Steph a little more was another bush league move, probably an attempt to show-up Marbury. And I can at least understand Marbury’s logic for not playing, even if I disagree with it.

    As far as playing in Italy/Europe, a team that has one or two million Euros to spend and the chance to sign Stephon Marbury is going to jump at the opportunity, both to sell tickets and possibly win games. The best teams in Europe might stay away, but there is no NBA in Europe… there are hundreds of professional teams at all different levels, not 30 teams on a relatively even playing field with a draft, salary cap, and revenue sharing to even the playing field that they’re all on. Marbury might not get a Josh Childress contract to play for a Euroleague contender (then again, he might) but he’s not going to have a problem signing a contract in Europe if he wants to play over here. Teams are not going to have to call D’Antoni, they’re perfectly capable of reading the news.

  8. Ted Nelson

    I should also say that Walshtoni did a very honorable thing by asking Marbury if he wanted to play before the Bucks game rather than simply calling his name during the game and suspending him without pay when he refused to enter the game. Although, that would have been very, very ugly for both sides and wouldn’t have really been in Walshtoni’s self interests either.

  9. Sly Williams

    Good post, you the BloggerKnicker!
    The only possible defense I can see for Marbury is:
    he is his own agent, and perhaps he feels that contributing in any way to the team would hurt his negotiations for a buyout (his alleged main goal). If his play value is worth more to the team than his buyout value (salary minus buyout total) then he is worth keeping – so he needs to keep his play value down if he wants to leave.

  10. Ray

    Im so disappointed in Marbury. This guy is from Brooklyn and he has the change of a lifetime to play for his hometeam and this is how he wants to go out. Like a whining baby? He has no heart. No pride. Send him to Italy. If I were Donnie I would swing a deal for a second rounder to the rights to a Euro baller that is in the “developmental stage”. We should really find a pick for 2010 because you can never have enough depth. IF LeBron comes here its going to be amazing basketball being played. IF we get Lebron and Bosh we might have a change to go all the way. Dont forget they still need quality pieces around them and hopefully we get get some of those pieces somehow through the draft.

  11. o_boogie

    Marbury is despicable. He is under contract to play for the Knicks, which means if the coach needs him to play, he should play. The team should fine him for refusing to play when we needed him. This is a horrible precedent to set around the league that behavior like this will be tolerated. Granted, he looks like a total jackass and may never play another NBA game, but it is still a total joke.

    Marbury has been one of the most generous NBA players, too. 1 million donation to Katrina and the Starbury shoes. When it is all said and done, people will remember him for the fighting and the insubordination and the pouting with a towel over his head instead of the benevolence. What a shame.

  12. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    While Marbury made a terrible decision not to play when called upon, I think D’Antoni had to know how it was going to play out before he made the proposition. Running to tell the media in order to come out looking like the good guy and bash Steph a little more was another bush league move, probably an attempt to show-up Marbury. And I can at least understand Marbury’s logic for not playing, even if I disagree with it.

    Run to the media? In just about every interview of D’Antoni I’ve seen or read he hates talking about Marbury. You think he’s bringing it up? Read the quote from the Post article I linked above:

    “This is it, it’s the last time I’m answering this question,” D’Antoni said angrily.

    My story may be a bit of revisionist history, but I don’t think I’m grossly overstating the case of the Knick management. And I’m not trying to ignore the fact that benching Marbury was done for other reasons as well (send a message to the rest of the team/fans, make a cut with the Isiah era, give D’Antoni an easier transition). But Marbury should have seen this coming, and the only thing that kept him from seeing that he wouldn’t be starting this year after the Duhon signing was his own distorted view of his self worth.

    Read this quote, and you tell me who is the reasonable party:

    A person with knowledge of the situation said Marbury went to coach Mike D’Antoni to talk about his situation. D’Antoni, the source said, suggested to Marbury that he seek offers from teams around the league, then go to Walsh and accept a buyout of the difference. The source said Marbury grew angry and yelled, “They owe me that money! I earned that money!”

    This is why I tend to believe D’Antoni/Walsh in this case. Marbury loses his credibility more and more as this thing does along. Last night’s game was a perfect example.

  13. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Are u kidding? Marbury would have only played in 2 games before the traded players can play. If Marbury can’t beat out Mardy Collins and Roberson, how is going to play in front of Mobley? And with Harrington,Thomas and also Jeffries going to play up front, Q-Rich will see more time at the 2. This was not a long term option. Dantoni wanted Marbury to play because he was desperate for the games against the bucks and the wiz.

    In essence my assertion is due to Marbury’s style of play he was fighting with Crawford/Roberson for minutes. There was only room in the rotation for one no defensive scoring guard, and Crawford was it. Collins’ skill set is different from Marbury’s. Collins gives D’Antoni another tough defender – one that can even guard SF in a three guard alignment.

    He chose not to take Roberson’s role (as quoted by D’Antoni) because the minutes were too few. However with Crawford gone, there is a clear need for another scorer at shooting guard. And I believe D’Antoni when he says there’s 30+ minutes to be had if Stephon wanted to take them.

  14. Thomas B.

    About a week ago I wrote on Marbury’s treatment and karma. I noted that the Knicks should have dealt with Marbury honestly because they may need him at some point.

    You cannot treat people like garbage then come back and expect they will support you when you need it. Rather than reqard Marbury for coming to camp in shape and having the right attitude, they benched him. They did not give him a chance. They basically said, we dont need you, if we ever do-which we doubt-we will call you.

    “Duh Thomas, Marbury is undah kontract wit dem der Knicks. Dey can do wut dey want wit ‘im, duh.”

    Well yes Mongo, that is true. However, even if you have a contract to direct the actions of a person, you still should treat them well. A happy employee is much more productive than a bitter and sullen one. Though in Marbury’s case, he may have been born bitter and sullen.

    I am not saying Marbury is right, but were it I in his place I can’t say I would have responded differently. Don’t kick me in the nuts on Sunday and then ask for my help on Tuesday.

  15. Ted Nelson

    I was a bit harsh, and it’s only a bit of a revisionist history, IMO.

    D’Antoni might not have “run” to the media, but it can definitely be seen that way when all you look at is the headlines/gossip (or in 2010 when the facts are a bit hazy). Walshtoni are playing a dangerous game where they might come out looking like men of principal and character who reward hard work, or they might come out looking like the new Isiah Thomas. The whole thing is so unnecessary.

    I just tend to think that the Knicks would have been better off cutting Marbury out of camp. They gain nothing but a media circus (exactly what they’re trying to lose) by keeping him around. Maybe keep him around until you’ve evaluated whether his contract is a valuable trading chip. If it’s not, is all of this really worth the $1 million he’s going to get from another team (assuming they really are willing to buy him out for his contract minus what he can get from another team, which I believe isn’t above the veterans’ minimum). If Walshtoni were serious about making that happen they’d only have to make a few calls around the league to see who would sign Marbury and for how much (they shouldn’t have to do this, but with Marbury representing himself they should either just do it themselves or ask the players’ association to help).

    The Knicks have a $100 million payroll and they’re dragging Marbury’s name further through the muck, and risking their own names, to save $1 million dollars? Even if they look like the good guys in this, in 2 years when the facts are blurry in everyone’s memory a Cleveland or Toronto can at least use this as ammunition to say “remember how they treated Marbury in NY??? Have we shown you anything but the best here? Look, we’ve even cleared the cap space to go after Amare/Joe Johnson/etc. to go with what was already a contender… why are you going to NY again?” The agent might be interested in building their client into a global brand in NYC, but they might, for example, look at the shorter, smaller contract and the money that might be lost from taking a supporting role to LeBron (how many shoes were named after Pippen?) and encourage their client to make the safe play and stay home… if NY fails to lure the Bosh, Wade, Amare, etc. LeBron is going to be that much harder to get. Maybe the free agents see through it and realize Marbury and Curry are not innocent victims, but maybe it creates enough doubt in their minds that getting paid far more with an addition year guaranteed to contend for a ring with the only team they’ve ever known is more appealling… Not that we should put all of our eggs in the 2010 basket, but it’s a pretty attractive basket.
    Basically, all I’m trying to say is: why are they doing this? Just cut the guy already… you’re torturing everyone for no reason.

  16. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    … The whole thing is so unnecessary.

    I just tend to think that the Knicks would have been better off cutting Marbury out of camp. They gain nothing but a media circus (exactly what they’re trying to lose) by keeping him around. Maybe keep him around until you’ve evaluated whether his contract is a valuable trading chip. If it’s not, is all of this really worth the $1 million he’s going to get from another team (assuming they really are willing to buy him out for his contract minus what he can get from another team, which I believe isn’t above the veterans’ minimum). If Walshtoni were serious about making that happen they’d only have to make a few calls around the league to see who would sign Marbury and for how much (they shouldn’t have to do this, but with Marbury representing himself they should either just do it themselves or ask the players’ association to help).

    The problem is that the Knicks can’t pay him his full salary in a buyout. What team has ever given a player his full salary in a buyout? It’s standard when a team is doing a buyout for the player to give the team a deal. Also it’s honorable, considering the player is no longer giving his services back to the team. That’s standard procedure, and the Knicks would look foolish to give Marbury his full pay. But Marbury is being his own agent, so he’s unaware of the commonality of such arrangements. (Or is just that greedy – your choice.)

    Marbury was quoted as saying if you were owed $100, would you take $80. Well look at it from the Knicks perspective. If they expected to pay $80 in a buyout, should they pay $100? What kind of message would that send to the rest of the league? It would hurt the owners across the board. If you were a player on another team looking at a buyout and you see Stephon getting his full $21M, would you accept anything less? That’s not going to help them when they’re dealing with agents in the future.

    So the Knicks are doing what they can. By the CBA, they can’t send him home (unless Marbury agrees) so they have him at all the games & practices. Are they making it comfortable for him? No. But then again that’s what happens when two parties can’t agree on a deal whether it be unions, landlords, businessmen, or politicians.

    OK let’s say we assume that Marbury was not given a chance to make the rotation, something I kinda believe in (it was set with Duhon, Crawford, and Nate, with Marbury not interested in few minutes). Let’s assume that D’Antoni didn’t inform him of the decision until after the opening game. Let’s assume that the team didn’t offer him a buyout until after the season started. Is any of that so horrible? If these are true (and not all I agree with) then I don’t see anything that was unforgivable.

    But if we also assume that Marbury was unwilling to negotiate a deal (which Marbury has said as much) then this ties the team’s hands as well. I mean if the team did this to any other player, the player would have negotiated a buyout and all of it would be over. But Marbury’s refusal to take anything less than 100% has forced the Knicks hands.

  17. Italian Stallion

    The problem with Marbury is that he apparently lacks both enough intelligence and education to know what’s in his own best interests. He’s more of a tough self centered street thug with a set of values that is not consistent with the desired professionalism and team oriented thinking that makes for a successful sports career and winning player. His talent and (Isiah’s stupidity) got him rich, but I say it’s even money we’ll be reading about him being broke in 10-15 years.

  18. BiggieSmalls

    I think Dolan is holding up the Marbury buyout until after Cablevision closes their YE.

    The odds of Amare coming to NYC in 10/11 are just as good – or even better – then the odds of Lebron coming to Broadway. D’Antoni gives us this advantage.

    So why not take advantage of the opportunity to pair these two by cutting more payroll?

    Would Dallas take a Combo of Malik’s expiring deal, D Lee and Eddie C. for Josh Howard and Stackhouse?

    Cuban getting and signing Lee long term would certainly mitigate taking on Curry. Who I think they like somehow.

    Since Stack expires in 09/10 he helps expand our cap money and Josh Howard could be a dynamic player with D’Antoni. Both have worn out their welcome in Dallas. Plus Howard has a team option for 10/11

    Dallas Pairing Malik’s expiring with Kidd’s would clear 28 mil for them next year.

  19. jon abbey

    “Dallas Pairing Malik’s expiring with Kidd’s would clear 28 mil for them next year.”

    this is pretty much meaningless, since they’d still be over the cap.

  20. caleb

    I feel like a public defender, but I’ll take up for Steph…

    Marbury looks bad, but we don’t actually know what happened. What we’re hearing is the MSG spin — sources like “A person with knowledge of the situation,” and all his friends, aren’t unbiased. They’re leaking to make sure it’s their side of the story in the papers. Since the team isn’t fining Marbury for skipping games, it’s a good guess he didn’t actually refuse to play — at least, it’s not so clear cut that the team wants to fight the union.

    Forget the basketball debate (he’s obviously better than some of the guys in the rotation, but there are valid reasons to sit him, like giving minutes to guys who might be in the long-term plan, or tanking for draft position). Putting that aside – if Marbs isn’t happy, and said, “I’d rather not play if I’m not in your plans [you !$%!@]” – I don’t blame him. Letting him go through camp and then inactivating him after Game 1 looks like pre-planned humiliation, to drive him out of town with a cheap buyout.

    As for his bargaining position – why SHOULD he give up his contract, and take less? If the Knicks want him to earn the money by playing, they can put him in the lineup (see my first point). It’s just your standard business negotiation. The Knicks’ only leverage is making his life miserable and embarrassing. Marbs’ only leverage is other teams. If he had another team willing to sign him for the mid-level, he’d take $5-6 million less in a buyout. If he had another team willing to sign him for $1.5 million, he’d take $1.5 million less.

    It might be going slower than usual, since his not having an agent makes it harder for outside teams to reach him. Remember the Keon Clark fiasco? Where no one knew he’d retired? I forget the details but it went something like this… after being unable to reach him all summer, some team (Dallas? Golden State?) finally sent an exec to Keon’s house, got pointed to his friend’s house; Keon was on the porch drinking Jim Beam and the exec said, ‘I guess you’re retired, huh?’ Yup.”

  21. Ted Nelson

    Mike,

    When players except less to be bought out it’s generally a mutual agreement at least to some extent. Guys like Antonio McDyess don’t want to be one place and know they’ll have plenty of suitors on the market (or have one particular suitor in mind), on the other hand, Steph seems to have placed a higher value on his earnings then getting playing time from one of the however many teams would offer him the vets’ minimum or maybe a little bit more.
    If a player who still wants to be on the team is cut, the team just pays the full salary (or whatever they’re required to). I believe that when you have 16 garaunteed contracts and you cut one guy you pay his whole salary, or if you decide to make a cut to keep some undrafted rookie who blew you away in training camp you pay him. I’d personally have cut Marbury if I wasn’t going to play him or trade him. If the Knicks don’t want to cut Marbury that’s their decision, but they’re in no more of a position to whine than Marbury is.

    “Let’s assume that D’Antoni didn’t inform him of the decision until after the opening game. Let’s assume that the team didn’t offer him a buyout until after the season started.”

    I’ve seen nothing to contradict either of these assumptions. As far as I can tell they’re facts (Marbury declared them facts, and as far as I know no one contradicted him), but I also don’t read every news report and have absolutley no inside information.

  22. Z

    The problem with Marbury is not so much that he is a jerk, but that he is a truly horrible communicator. The fact that he doesn’t have representation compounds this flaw. It’s one thing for Ray Allen to be his own agent–he has proven to be smarter than your average NBAer, has working relationships with his bosses, and has an acting career to fall back on if his employer decides they have a personal vendetta against him and try to ruin his career.

    Marbury may not be as big a jerk as he seems, he may not be as stupid as he seems, he may not be as whiney as he seems. But he is definitely as aloof as he seems, and why he tries to “go-it-alone” in the world is beyond me.

  23. Italian Stallion

    I think the Knicks came into this wanting to maximize Steph’s value and increase the probability of a trade (or lower their buyout value because somene else bid more). To do that, they needed him to show up in great shape and motivated. They also needed him to play well in pre-season so that the rest of the league could see he had recovered from his surgery. I think they also knew they couldn’t count on his professionalism to make that all that happen.

    That’s sort of why they manipulated him into thinking he had a clean slate and was going to be part of the team.

    I think they were strategically correct to do things this way and think recent events prove just how brilliantly they have handled him so far.

    He’s no longer practicing and keeping himself in great shape even though it’s in his best interests to do so for himself and his next team.

    He wouldn’t set his ego aside to play against the Bucks even though the TEAM NEEDED HIM and it probably made him look bad to other team managements and hurt his own position.

    This guys is a complete self destructive idiot, moron, and street thug without a shred of common sense. He’s a total LOSER!!!!!

  24. Brian Cronin

    I also think Marbury should have just played, but I also think it was a pretty crappy offer. “We have 30 minutes available, Steph! But only for the next two games and then it’s back to the inactive list for you!”

    If D’Antoni actually let him decide whether he wanted to play these two games or not, while I would have liked him to have just said yes (and you can tell D’Antoni felt he should/would), I don’t think him pulling a Bartleby is all that big of a deal.

    Note that the Knicks are not claiming insubordination. For a guy that they don’t want to pay, it is quite telling that they are not claiming a charge that would rightfully allow them to suspend him without pay.

    By the by, I keep seeing articles about how D’Antoni and Marbury’s stories conflict. I don’t see how they conflict. They both agree that Marbury was offered to play these two games and that Marbury said no. The only difference is that while D’Antoni wouldn’t say what else was said, Marbury says that he asked if this meant that he was back in the team’s plans and D’Antoni said no, so Steph said no. D’Antoni has not disputed that, right? So where’s the conflict between their versions of the story?

  25. beanmaxz

    Couple of things I would challenge on this thread:

    * The rest of the league is not thinking any more poorly of the Knicks because of the treatment of Marbury. If anything, it’s a sign of how far Marbury’s star has fallen that other teams consider him radioactive and want nothing to do with him, despite his considerable talent and his obvious availability. Though the situation is playing out in a messier fashion than either side would prefer, I think many people actually respect the way the Knicks are sticking to their guns.

    * Amare is one of the prize names in the 2010 free agent bonanza, but the accounts I read indicated that he and D’Antoni butted heads often toward the end of the coach’s tenure. I don’t know if these were the type of disagreements that would preclude Amare from considering the Knicks, but Stoudemire was one of the players that was quoted quite prominently as looking forward to change with D’Antoni’s departure from the Suns.

  26. Brian Cronin

    and his obvious availability

    He is not all that obviously available.

    Remember, he won’t accept a buyout, so if teams want him, they have to trade for him, which is a difficult row to hoe.

  27. Z

    “So where’s the conflict between their versions of the story?”

    Maybe the media tries to highlight the conflict because it makes for a better news story, but this is how it was portrayed on Friday night:

    D’Antoni: “Obviously, at the start of the season, I told him the direction we were going and I didn’t have minutes for him and I do not want to embarrass him by spot minutes. We talked about it and it was both our decision that he goes on the inactive. Instead of playing spot minutes, he wanted to go on the inactive and I agreed with him. So when the trade went down this afternoon, I said to him, ‘Look, Steph. One of the principals are gone, Jamal Crawford. There’s 30, 35 minutes out there and they’re yours if you want them and are ready to go. He said the direction of the team went in a different direction, he wasn’t comfortable in the situation and he did not want to play. So at that point, I said that’s fine and that’s your decision.”

    Asked if he thought Marbury’s actions could be viewed as insubordination, D’Antoni said: “Nah, nah. I think he was in a tough situation. I’m not mad at all at Steph and I understand Steph and that’s fine. But that’s enough of the talk and the story because it is a distraction and we need to go forward. We’ve got a new team coming in starting tomorrow and then Tuesday and we’re going to get this done. We’re going to get into the playoffs and we’re going to have a good team and Knicks fans are really going to be happy the next three years.”

    Marbury: “The only thing I’m at liberty to say is that I was told that they were moving forward, and I’m not the person who chooses to play and who doesn’t. That’s the only thing that I’m able to say. I was told that they were moving in another direction and that I wasn’t in the plans. I was told that today.”

    And with that, he stormed out of the locker room with his suitcase. (Newsday)

    So Brian is probably right– the conflict is largely manufactured by the Media; however, Marbury clearly doesn’t make anything clear to anybody and leaves everything open to wide speculation, which doesn’t help any situation, ever.

  28. Ted Nelson

    “I think the Knicks came into this wanting to maximize Steph’s value and increase the probability of a trade”

    So they didn’t play him a single minute? Usually when teams want to increase someone’s value they play them more, not less.

    “He’s no longer practicing and keeping himself in great shape even though it’s in his best interests to do so for himself and his next team.”

    I don’t think there’s any evidence he’s not keeping himself in game shape. This is speclation, and if you haven’t played in a game in weeks there’s a chance you might struggle to get back to game shape (then again some players are super motivated to get back out there and play really well…). While there are a lot of legitimate criticisms about Marbury, questioning his ability to stay in shape is not one of them, IMO.

    “He wouldn’t set his ego aside to play against the Bucks even though the TEAM NEEDED HIM”

    Brian makes some good points here.

    I’m not trying to defend Marbury to the point of saying he’s in the right, but I also don’t think the organization is in the right here.

  29. Italian Stallion

    I think it’s very clear what happened.

    1. D’Antoni offered the minutes.

    2. Both clearly understood Steph’s response to be no.

    3. D’Antoni probably really didn’t care one way or the other, understood Steph’s position, and didn’t consider it insubordination or a major problem.

    4. The press stirred the pot.

    5. Steph now wants to make sure that everyone else knows it was not insubordination to protect himself.

    Steph once again proved he is a STUPID self centered moron that couldn’t set his ego aside for the benefit of the TEAM that employs him even when his very actions are self destrcutive to his own standing, future negotiations, and career. LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    They played him all pre season and there were plenty of articles at the time with comments from other team sources saying that they thought he was in terrific shape, looking great, and had not lost a step after surgey. No need to play him after that. Everyone already knew he still had game after surgery. The problem is that he needed a labotomy too.

    Multiple reports tha he has not practiced with the team in two weeeks and is not even shooting around much.

    Defending this LOSER, is a LOSERS game.

  31. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I feel like a public defender, but I’ll take up for Steph…


    Since the team isn’t fining Marbury for skipping games, it’s a good guess he didn’t actually refuse to play.

    I don’t see how this could be the case. D’Antoni publicly said that he offered Marbury 30+ minutes. Marbury’s public response wasn’t to contradict this, but rather he repeated an old point “The only thing I’m at liberty to say is that I was told they were moving forward, and I’m not the person who chooses to play or who doesn’t.” If D’Antoni were lying, then Marbury would have a stronger response than that.

    As Ted Nelson said earlier that D’Antoni was nice enough to ask Marbury prior to the game than being in the awkward situation of subbing him into the game. Knowing that Marbury wouldn’t enter the game, the Knicks didn’t even try to insert him (because that would distract the team). Hence technically Marbury didn’t refuse to enter the game so the team can’t fine him.

    As for his bargaining position – why SHOULD he take less? If the Knicks want him to earn the money by playing, they can put him in the lineup (see my first point). Otherwise – why should he give up his contract?

    Because that’s what most players do. Steve Francis took about $3-$4M off his deal. Sam Cassell took half of his remaining contract to leave the Clippers. Antonio McDyess gave up $9M (I still can’t believe that’s true.)

    And speaking of Steve Francis he was sent home by the Knicks & still came back mid-season when the team needed him.

    It’s just your standard business negotiation. The Knicks’ only leverage is making his life miserable and embarrassing. Marbs’ only leverage is other teams. If he had another team willing to sign him for the mid-level, he’d take $5-6 million less in a buyout. If he had another team willing to sign him for $1.5 million, he’d take $1.5 million less.

    In a way that’s why I’m fine with what the team is doing, and I don’t care if this gets settled quickly or not. Both parties have their options, and I think the longer this lasts, the more Stephon’s personality is going to come to light, and that’s going to make him look worse.

    As for playing public defender – which side would you believe Donnie Walsh & Mike D’Antoni who have been reputable for many years and loved by many players across the league, or Stephon Marbury whose reputation has been sullied (especially in recent years) and is hated in his own clubhouse?

  32. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    I’m just not sure why you assume the absolute worst about Stephon Marbury and assume the absolute best about Walshtoni. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in between.

    Not practicing with the team does not mean that he’s not practicing at all… I’m sure the guy has a state of the art gym and full court in his house. He was always known for being in great shape before his career nose dived. He has a lot of incentive to stay in shape so that if he is ever cut or traded he can prove whatever it is that he wants to prove.

    I guess I’m a LOSER. I made it clear that I’m not trying to defend him, just feel that the organization has handled this poorly. But hey, I’m a huge LOSER… great argument.

  33. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    The Knicks have a $100 million payroll and they’re dragging Marbury’s name further through the muck, and risking their own names, to save $1 million dollars? Even if they look like the good guys in this, in 2 years when the facts are blurry in everyone’s memory a Cleveland or Toronto can at least use this as ammunition to say “remember how they treated Marbury in NY??? Have we shown you anything but the best here? Look, we’ve even cleared the cap space to go after Amare/Joe Johnson/etc. to go with what was already a contender… why are you going to NY again?” The agent might be interested in building their client into a global brand in NYC, but they might, for example, look at the shorter, smaller contract and the money that might be lost from taking a supporting role to LeBron (how many shoes were named after Pippen?) and encourage their client to make the safe play and stay home… if NY fails to lure the Bosh, Wade, Amare, etc. LeBron is going to be that much harder to get. Maybe the free agents see through it and realize Marbury and Curry are not innocent victims, but maybe it creates enough doubt in their minds that getting paid far more with an addition year guaranteed to contend for a ring with the only team they’ve ever known is more appealling… Not that we should put all of our eggs in the 2010 basket, but it’s a pretty attractive basket.
    Basically, all I’m trying to say is: why are they doing this? Just cut the guy already… you’re torturing everyone for no reason.

    Are you asserting that other players might not want to sign with the Knicks because of this? Everyone wants to play in New York (or at least reap the financial benefits of playing in this market). Donnie Walsh is a well respected executive. And who doesn’t want to play for D’Antoni?

    I can’t imagine any player saying “they couldn’t buyout Marbury in the last year of his deal, so they benched him – that could happen to me!” Well any player other than Stephon. And maybe Eddy Curry.

  34. BigBlueAL

    I am so freaking tired of the whole Marbury crap. Just release him already and be done with it. Good riddance to that piece of crap….

  35. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    You aren’t reading enough. By his own admission, he’s not in game shape because he’s not scrimmaging with the team at all (in over 2 weeks) and not shooting around much at all either. That was actually part of the reason given for him not wanting to play against the Bucks.

    This is a business. If the Knicks were dealing with a professional with an IQ higher than a rock this would have been over a long time ago. They aren’t, they know it, and that’s why they’ve had to manipulate the situation to get rid of him and still accomplish their business goal of either a trade or reduced (but fair) buyout. This is ALL THE “LOSERS” fault.

  36. Ted Nelson

    “Because that’s what most players do. Steve Francis took about $3-$4M off his deal. Sam Cassell took half of his remaining contract to leave the Clippers. Antonio McDyess gave up $9M (I still can’t believe that’s true.)”

    In all of these cases the players wanted to leave.

    Francis lives in Houston and had made it clear since he left that he wanted to return. Francis got 2 years worth of salary up front (to invest, spend, whatever he wanted to do) and signed a deal for something like $5 mill for those 2 years with Houston. I would say that he made out much better financially than the Blazers, except that the Blazers had just dumped Randolph’s huge contract so I don’t think they really cared. The Blazers didn’t want Francis around, so they gave him a good deal.

    Cassell never wanted to go to the Clippers in the first place and had the chance to get back together with KG and win a ring… LAC still wanted him around for his leadership and as one of their better players (pathetically enough) so he had to give a lot to get his freedom.

    McDyess made it clear that he wasn’t going to Denver, so he basically had to retire, take a buyout, or be suspended without pay until maybe being traded (also maybe not to a team he wanted to play for).

    “In a way that’s why I’m fine with what the team is doing, and I don’t care if this gets settled quickly or not. Both parties have their options, and I think the longer this lasts, the more Stephon’s personality is going to come to light, and that’s going to make him look worse.”

    I still feel the negative publicity isn’t a good thing for Walshtoni. Everytime Steph is in the press it’s a blackeye to the organization.

    “As for playing public defender – which side would you believe Donnie Walsh & Mike D’Antoni who have been reputable for many years and loved by many players across the league, or Stephon Marbury whose reputation has been sullied (especially in recent years) and is hated in his own clubhouse?”

    I don’t think it’s a matter of believing. The facts are more or less on the table.

  37. Caleb

    As for playing public defender – which side would you believe Donnie Walsh & Mike D’Antoni who have been reputable for many years and loved by many players across the league, or Stephon Marbury whose reputation has been sullied (especially in recent years) and is hated in his own clubhouse?

    As Brian points out, there isn’t any discrepancy between the two versions. Marbury doesn’t want to play – what if he gets hurt, keeping the court warm for Mobley? And the Knicks don’t really want him to play, either.

    Because that’s what most players do. Steve Francis took about $3-$4M off his deal.

    it wasn’t his sense of fair play – he took a $4 million buyout the minute his agent found him a $5 million deal in Houston, so he actually MADE money on the buyout. Same for Cassell. Marbs will do the same if another team ever makes him an offer. McDyess was a little different; by all accounts he really, really didn’t want to leave Detroit, and was willing to leave money on the table in order to come back. I’ll lay 1-5 that he re-signs with the Pistons next month.

  38. Caleb

    p.s. I stand corrected – Steve Francis did give up more than $2 million dollars, to go to Houston.

    Cassell just gave up the vet minimum, for another vet minimum in Boston.

    In most cases, there’s no reason to take a buyout unless you can make up the money somewhere else. That’s why Jerome James is still on the roster; he has signed his last NBA contract.

  39. Caleb

    I was thinking about addition by subtraction the other day…

    Do we think the Knicks would be playing better than they are, if Steph had been released this summer?

  40. Ben R

    The organization has handled the Marbury situation badly. Marbury has handled it badly as well but come on what do we really expect from Steph at this point.

    Walsh needs to just release Marbury at this point because like Ted said, every time Steph is in the news it hurts the Knicks. In fact at this point the only thing that can be hurt is the Knicks reputation, Steph’s is already shot so he really has nothing to lose.

    Taking less money makes no sense for Steph at this point, he can wait it out and as the Knicks get more and more embarrassed they will eventually give him what he wants.

    I am not defending Steph but Walsh and D’Antoni’s hands are not clean either. I am betting that if they had went to Steph in July and offered him the same buy out they are offering him now he probably would have taken it but by waiting till after the season started they assured him less money and I think jerked him around. It’s pretty clear he never had a clean slate and pretty clear they never intended on playing him in the regular season, so this is what they deserve.

    Walsh and D’Antoni should be embarrassed and they deserve any bad press they get about this.

  41. Caleb

    I mean, Marbs could still have trade value… for example, it would be expensive, but maybe Sacramento would take him in exchange for Brad Miller and Kenny Thomas — saving the Kings about $30 million next year (when you figure in luxury taxes) and costing us about $40 million (counting luxury tax). For that kind of savings – maybe the Kings would give up a real asset, like Spencer Hawes or a future first. Hell, it’s an expensive way to do business but as a fan, it’s not my money.

  42. Italian Stallion

    This is a business. There is no reason to release Steph when he may still have trade value and it will certainly save the organization a lot of money on a buyout if he gets an offer elsewhere (typically the amount offered by the other club plus in this case the luxory tax). The only other consideration is the distraction factor. This may be a distraction to us, but the team is dong just fine. Everyone else knows this is all about business.

    If anything, I’d bet all the other owners and the NBA are firmly in the Knicks camp on this because they have their own mental midget unprofessional losers like Steph that they might have to deal with eventually.

    This is as easy as Steph soliciting an offer from another club and then taking the remainder of his owed money from the Knicks, but he’s too retarded to realize that he’s hurting his own career right now by playing hardball and trying the rape the Knicks for extra money.

    Buyout amounts are pretty standard stuff. It’s ALL STEPH’s FAULT. He could easily be playing for Miamai etc… right now if he was such a monumental LOSER and MORON!.

  43. Ted Nelson

    “Marbury admitted he wasn’t enthused about playing because he hadn’t scrimmaged in two-and-half weeks before Thursday.”

    “Refusing to play is when the coach tries to put you in the game and you say you’re not going in,” Marbury said. “If he asked me to go into the game, I was going into the game. That’s why I taped my ankles.”

    He hasn’t scrimmaged in 2 and a half weeks, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t worked out on his own time. As far as I know he didn’t say he’s out of shape.

    This is a business. There is no reason to release Steph when he may still have trade value and it will certainly save the organization a lot of money on a buyout if he gets an offer elsewhere (typically the amount offered by the other club plus in this case the luxory tax). The only other consideration is the distraction factor. This may be a distraction to us, but the team is dong just fine. Everyone else knows this is all about business.
    If anything, I’d bet all the other owners and the NBA are firmly in the Knicks camp on this because they have their own mental midget unprofessional losers like Steph that they might have to deal with eventually.
    This is as easy as Steph soliciting an offer from another club and then taking the remainder of his owed money from the Knicks, but he’s too retarded to realize that he’s hurting his own career right now by playing hardball and trying the rape the Knicks for extra money.
    Buyout amounts are pretty standard stuff. It’s ALL STEPH’s FAULT. He could easily be playing for Miamai etc… right now if he was such a monumental LOSER and MORON!.

    Hmm… I don’t even know where to start.

  44. jon abbey

    wait, Caleb won the ‘addition by subtraction’ argument? NY is 7-6 without Marbury and Curry playing a minute and the only addition being Duhon and a new coach. if that’s not addition by subtraction, I don’t know what is (unless we’re just giving all the credit to D’Antoni’s coaching).

  45. Caleb

    It’s only 13 games, but yes, I am winning :)

    The addition by subtraction case states that bad chemistry and off-court distractions are so damaging, it’s better to dump players for nothing.

    The counterargument: even the worst-case scenario – like what’s playing out now, with Marbury – makes no difference to on-court performance.

    I also argued this summer that a good coach can always bench players or inactivate them, if he has someone better to plug in… not sure I convinced you at the time…

  46. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    I really don’t think there is much to discuss on this. The NBA is a business. In most cases players and teams come to terms quickly and fairly on deals like this because there are fairly standard calculations for the present value of contracts and other factors involved. The only time there are problems is when personalities and egos get involved. In this case, we have a uneducated semi moron with a toxic self destructive personality trying to negotiate on his own behalf with Donnie Walsh (a univerally liked and respected GM). All the idiot is doing is reducing the probability of him finding a new home at a salary that approximates his basketball ability, but he’s too stupid to know that. So the Knicks are going to have to cope with it for awhile until it sinks in. The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself. So it could take even longer than we think. We are dealing with Mike Tyson on STUPID PILLS and without a punch here.

  47. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Alvy Singer: I’m so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for “Dysentery”.
    Robin: “Commentary”.
    Alvy Singer: Oh really? I had heard that “Commentary” and “Dissent” had merged and formed “Dysentery”.

  48. Italian Stallion

    “Marbury admitted he wasn’t enthused about playing because he hadn’t scrimmaged in two-and-half weeks before Thursday.”
    “Refusing to play is when the coach tries to put you in the game and you say you’re not going in,” Marbury said. “If he asked me to go into the game, I was going into the game. That’s why I taped my ankles.”
    He hasn’t scrimmaged in 2 and a half weeks, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t worked out on his own time. As far as I know he didn’t say he’s out of shape.

    This is a business. There is no reason to release Steph when he may still have trade value and it will certainly save the organization a lot of money on a buyout if he gets an offer elsewhere (typically the amount offered by the other club plus in this case the luxory tax). The only other consideration is the distraction factor. This may be a distraction to us, but the team is dong just fine. Everyone else knows this is all about business.If anything, I’d bet all the other owners and the NBA are firmly in the Knicks camp on this because they have their own mental midget unprofessional losers like Steph that they might have to deal with eventually.This is as easy as Steph soliciting an offer from another club and then taking the remainder of his owed money from the Knicks, but he’s too retarded to realize that he’s hurting his own career right now by playing hardball and trying the rape the Knicks for extra money.Buyout amounts are pretty standard stuff. It’s ALL STEPH’s FAULT. He could easily be playing for Miamai etc… right now if he was such a monumental LOSER and MORON!.

    Hmm… I don’t even know where to start.

    But you aren’t defending him. ROTFLMAO

    Ted, you are contrarian extremist. You seem to enjoy spending all day taking the opposite point of view on just about anything. It gets comical sometimes. He’s a uninjured professional basketball player employed by a team that practices regularly and he attends. He admits he hasn’t scrimmaged in over two weeks. It has also been reported by attending jounalists that he’s been skipping out on practice early without shooting around either, but somehow we are supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt for keeping in tip top game shape. Too funny.

  49. Z

    “wait, Caleb won the ‘addition by subtraction’ argument?”

    Caleb argued that there was no reason to buy out Marbury. He claimed the worst thing that could happen is that he is not put on the basketball court, and the best thing that could happen is that he is traded for at least some sort of return. Donnie Walsh, if he was weighing the two options, seems to have taken Caleb’s position.

    Of course, the actual Addition by Subtraction argument is by no means decided by the Marbury example. It is interesting, though, that both sides can claim victory in this case…

  50. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    Your pretty much on an island right now. No one else is lobbing person insults at Marbury or insisting he’s the root of all evil.

    You’re absolutely right that the NBA is a business, that the Knicks are a business. I don’t see anyone disputing that. The reason I said “I don’t even know where to starts” is because you seem to be having an entirely different conversation than everyone else. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what both sides are more or less trying to do at this point. I’ve tried to make my position very clear: no one is winning here. Few people have left comments indicating that they side 100% with Marbury.

    “He’s a uninjured professional basketball player employed by a team that practices regularly and he attends. He admits he hasn’t scrimmaged in over two weeks.”

    Interestingly enough, Marbury is not the coach. Without knowing why he’s not playing it’s pretty hard to rush to conclusions and pass judgement. I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone on the team that Marbury hasn’t scrimmaged in 2 weeks. If Walshtoni has a problem with that fact they simply have to tell him they want him to practice and suspend him if he says no. He’s made it very clear that he isn’t going to lose a cent of his contract in this thing, therefore, it follows that Walshtoni do not want Marbury practicing: they know he will practice if they ask him to.
    Again, Stephon Marbury came into the NBA with a reputation for being in incredibly good shape. He maintained the rep for years. He has a lot of motivation to stay in shape, and I doubt he’s letting himself slip too far. Why that’s funny, I don’t know.

    ” In most cases players and teams come to terms quickly and fairly on deals like this because there are fairly standard calculations for the present value of contracts and other factors involved.”

    This is not particularly true. The reductions players take vary pretty widely depending on circumstances (who has the leverage), as the Cassell/McDyess/Francis example demonstrates. If the player wants out he takes a huge cut, if the team wants him gone he takes little or none, if its mutual it ends up somewhere in between. In this case both want out but neither wants to budge… so it is what it is, we’ll see who blinks first.

    “All the idiot is doing is reducing the probability of him finding a new home at a salary that approximates his basketball ability, but he’s too stupid to know that. So the Knicks are going to have to cope with it for awhile until it sinks in. The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself. So it could take even longer than we think. We are dealing with Mike Tyson on STUPID PILLS and without a punch here.”

    I’m not sure why you are so personally insulting to anyone, let alone someone you don’t even know. I’m very certain that Stephon Marbury knows how buyouts work. He has his priorities, though. I’m not saying I agree with them, but to assume he’s literally mentally handicapped to the point where he doesn’t even know what’s going on???????????? I haven’t heard anyone else express this opinion.

  51. Ted Nelson

    “The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself”

    Missed this sentence. How much damage is he doing to himself? As far as I know he’s not a drug addict, in fact, he’s a professional athlete in very good shape compared to the population at large and is probably helping the long-term health of his knees and ankles by sitting out. At $21 mill this year I don’t think the guy has that much to be worried about.

  52. Z-man

    I think D’Antoni could have handled Marbury much better than he did He tried the clean slate spin and implied that the “best” players would play (factoring in attitude, work ethic, etc.) Marbury plays as well as anyone in limited minutes during preseason and stays within the system. Then he is told that it’s best that he not be in the rotation.

    I know that Steph has been no angel and will be glad to see him go. Nevertheless, I think that people are go over the top in villainizing Marbury. For example, the whole having consentual sex with an intern thing…come on, Magic had sex with thousands of women while he was married, Kobe was accused of rape, also while married; both of these guys had issues with coaches and management at one time or another. In Steph’s case, from the minute he got here, he has played with a bunch of scrubs for either washed up, incompetent or egomaniacal coaches.

    I don’t mind the “we’re moving forward” mindset of D’Antoni, but they should have either played him (not started, but played) or cut him and paid the piper. The more they jerk him around, the worse they look.

    Ironically, it is exactly the opposite mindset they had with Zach, and look how it paid off. I don’t get how they were so convinced that the same strategy would not have worked for Steph.

  53. Z-man

    By the way, I get the feeling that Walsh is not happy with the way this has been handled by D’Antoni either, but he doesn’t want to undermine D’Antoni for a matter that will have closure in due time anyway.

  54. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself”

    Missed this sentence. How much damage is he doing to himself?

    I think he’s hurting his reputation as an athlete and his credibility to the rest of the NBA. If he wants to play in Italy, he’s hurting himself by not cooperating with a coach that could help him go over there. If his actions make other teams abroad and in the one country he showed interest in less likely to sign him, then that hurts his future earnings.

  55. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    I think virtually any point of view that defends Steph’s position or criticizes the Knick’s position is off base.

    The Knicks clearly don’t want him, but he has some value that they are entitled to as his contract holder (either a reduced salary in a buyout or in a trade).

    Steph still wants a career.

    As reported, when he went to D’Antoni asking for advice, he was told straight up that he should begin talking with some other teams – basically to begin the buyout process so both sides could move on because he was not in the plans.

    It was Steph that started all the “not a penny less than I am owed” nonsense before the start of any possible talks (not even understanding basic standard buyout standards).

    It was Steph that insisted on negotiating without an agent making it more difficult for him, the rest of the league, and the Knicks to come to a series of deals so all could and move one.

    It was Steph that didn’t want to play the other night and reignited the problems with delaying the inevitable.

    It is Steph whose career is being delayed by this.

    Steph has a reputation as a toxic personality both in and out of the locker room. That much is known by everyone. IMO, any team that was even considering taking a chance on him almost has to be having second thoughts based on the difficulties he’s creating for himself and the Knicks on what should be among the most basic of all buyouts possible. It should be as simple as him negotiating a new salary with new team and the Knicks giving him the present value of the remainder.

    I can’t help but think he’s a total moron because he’s never done a damn thing in his career as a Knick (or elsewhere that I am aware of) that leads me to believe that he’s capable of either professional or intelligent behavior on any level. Yet, as a Knicks fan, I constantly have to listen to discussions and questions about him. Even now, when the organization is actually finally making some meaningful positive changes, it’s mostly about Steph. That anyone can even mildly defend this guy at this point is incomprehensible to me.

  56. Italian Stallion
    Ted, you are contrarian extremist. You seem to enjoy spending all day taking the opposite point of view on just about anything. It gets comical sometimes.

    That was pretty funny, but at least I pick my spots where I think a particular set of stats or other aspect of a discussion is too one sided. Ted makes a sport of taking the other side of anything I say. I’d bet my life against a dollar that if I was PRO Marbury, I would have gotten several responses about why I was off base. ;-)

  57. Italian Stallion

    I don’t mind the “we’re moving forward” mindset of D’Antoni, but they should have either played him (not started, but played) or cut him and paid the piper. The more they jerk him around, the worse they look.
    Ironically, it is exactly the opposite mindset they had with Zach, and look how it paid off. I don’t get how they were so convinced that the same strategy would not have worked for Steph.

    I think this is the key point and the one I tried to address much earlier.

    IMO, at some point the Knicks concluded that they could NOT deal with Steph in a more upfront and professional manner like they did with Randolph. I’m not sure how, why, or when they concluded that, but most likely the combination of his history, dealings with Isiah, input from players, dealings with D’Antoni etc… lead them to believe that in order to get him to camp in shape and playing hard so they could move him, they would have to lead him to believe he had a clean slate.

  58. Ben R

    The Knicks have not treated Marbury well since Walsh and D’Antoni have come on board. They lied to him when they said he would have a clean slate, they played him alot in preseason making a large role on the team seem inevitable, they removed him from the rotation with no apparent warning, they waited until the season started to begin talking about a buyout and they have made private things about Steph and the team public news in an attempt to villify and embarass him.

    I know alot of people are angry at Steph, for good reason, and he is by no means innocent in all of this but the way Walsh and D’Antoni have treated Steph is still questionable and unfair. Professional organizations behave beyond reproach whether dealing with a headcase like Steph or a model citizen like Duncan. The Knicks have tried to manipulate the situation into their favor instead of being honest and straightforward.

    I agree that Marbury is ultimatly hurting himself if he wishes to continue to play in the NBA but he has every right to hurt himself and has no obligations to make the situation easier for Walsh or D’Antoni especially after the way they have treated him. Marbury was asked if he wanted to play and he said no, he did not disobay the coach or do anything wrong. Maybe he was worried that he would play badly and futher hurt his value to other teams, maybe he was worried he would get hurt, or maybe he simply did not want to play for a coach who has blatently jerked him around. I do not know but I have no hard feelings toward Marbury regarding what has happend this season, I think he has behaved very well. I have plenty of hard feeling towards what he has doen prior to this year but that is not what is at issue.

    I actually thought WEalsh and D’Antoni were better than this.

  59. Z-man

    The Knicks have not treated Marbury well since Walsh and D’Antoni have come on board. They lied to him when they said he would have a clean slate, they played him alot in preseason making a large role on the team seem inevitable, they removed him from the rotation with no apparent warning, they waited until the season started to begin talking about a buyout and they have made private things about Steph and the team public news in an attempt to villify and embarass him.
    I know alot of people are angry at Steph, for good reason, and he is by no means innocent in all of this but the way Walsh and D’Antoni have treated Steph is still questionable and unfair. Professional organizations behave beyond reproach whether dealing with a headcase like Steph or a model citizen like Duncan. The Knicks have tried to manipulate the situation into their favor instead of being honest and straightforward.
    I agree that Marbury is ultimatly hurting himself if he wishes to continue to play in the NBA but he has every right to hurt himself and has no obligations to make the situation easier for Walsh or D’Antoni especially after the way they have treated him. Marbury was asked if he wanted to play and he said no, he did not disobay the coach or do anything wrong. Maybe he was worried that he would play badly and futher hurt his value to other teams, maybe he was worried he would get hurt, or maybe he simply did not want to play for a coach who has blatently jerked him around. I do not know but I have no hard feelings toward Marbury regarding what has happend this season, I think he has behaved very well. I have plenty of hard feeling towards what he has doen prior to this year but that is not what is at issue.
    I actually thought WEalsh and D’Antoni were better than this.

    I see this as much more about D’Antoni than Walsh. Walsh has acted surprised at the total benching and his responses to questions at the time indicated that he was not happy about it.

  60. Ted Nelson
    “The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself”
    Missed this sentence. How much damage is he doing to himself?

    I think he’s hurting his reputation as an athlete and his credibility to the rest of the NBA. If he wants to play in Italy, he’s hurting himself by not cooperating with a coach that could help him go over there. If his actions make other teams abroad and in the one country he showed interest in less likely to sign him, then that hurts his future earnings.

    100% agree, but he’s got a hundred million bucks I don’t think he cares. So I don’t really think he’s damaging himself in any real way. If he gave two craps about winning an NBA championship or was desperate to set sail for Italy he’d have handled this a lot differently and gotten the hell out of Dodge.

  61. o_boogie

    I think Steph is just getting a taste of his own medicine. He sucks the life out of everything he touches and now the Knicks aren’t putting him in a position where he could do that.

  62. Italian Stallion

    “The problem is that is he’s so FVCKING STUPID, he may not even care how much damage he does to himself”Missed this sentence. How much damage is he doing to himself?

    I think he’s hurting his reputation as an athlete and his credibility to the rest of the NBA. If he wants to play in Italy, he’s hurting himself by not cooperating with a coach that could help him go over there. If his actions make other teams abroad and in the one country he showed interest in less likely to sign him, then that hurts his future earnings.

    100% agree, but he’s got a hundred million bucks I don’t think he cares. So I don’t really think he’s damaging himself in any real way. If he gave two craps about winning an NBA championship or was desperate to set sail for Italy he’d have handled this a lot differently and gotten the hell out of Dodge.

    I wish I could get down a futures bet that we’ll be reading about him being broke and on the verge of homelessness within 15 years. To be clear, I don’t mean this in an insulting or uncaring way. I am just so certain he’s clueless that I am equally certain he’s going to wind up broke. He’s Mike Tyson absent the punching power.

  63. Z

    “I can’t help but think he’s a total moron because he’s never done a damn thing in his career as a Knick (or elsewhere that I am aware of) that leads me to believe that he’s capable of either professional or intelligent behavior on any level.”

    I think you are ignoring the other side of Marbury– the one that actually makes him a compelling character study (and the one that KB references in the title to this thread). For every “retarded”, unprofessional thing he has done, he has also been above the fray in many ways– he has been a philanthropist, a socialist, a heartbroken son, and in what matters to us as Knick fans, has actually played some tough, winning basketball (in low doses, but not to be ignored completely).

    My personal theory is that he is probably an alcoholic, and at the very best a “dry drunk”. I think that when his basketball career ends, which could be imminent, he will have a lot of work to do to in order to keep his life relevant. He’ll have 50 years to live as a non-NBAer and I’m not convinced that his “finding Jesus” will truly save him.

    I don’t think we’d call Stephon “retarded” if he was making $20 million less than he is. We never called Vin Baker “retarded”. We just called him a bad basketball player, and to benefit the team we sent him away…

  64. Italian Stallion

    I don’t wish any ill will on him and can’t begin to understand why he is the way he is. I just can’t wait until he’s somebody else’s problem because I think he has been toxic to the organization and takes away from my pleasure as a Knicks fan.

    I love our new management.

    I love the direction they are taking the team.

    I like most of the players we have on the roster now.

    Once Marbury is gone, the exorcism will be complete.

  65. Z

    “Once Marbury is gone, the exorcism will be complete.”

    How is Marbury more of a pariah than Jerome James, who has earned even less of his money than Stephon?

    Or Curry, who not only cost us two lottery picks but is too fat to play AND is committed to the team for 3 more years?

    Or Dolan who is the guy responsible for all of this nonsense in the first place?

    To me it seems like Marbury is no longer of value to the team, yet he is paid like a superstar. That is his big crime. He should be traded, and if not traded then waived. But There are so many larger blights to the organization than Marbury. The exorcism has a long way to go, and Marbury will certainly be the first of the aforementioned demons exercised.

    But for now, I’m just going to be happy that the real pariah– the face and man-boobs of the Isiah Thomas regime, Zach Randolph, is no longer a Knick, and the team is already well down the Road to Wellville.

  66. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I can’t help but think he’s a total moron because he’s never done a damn thing in his career as a Knick (or elsewhere that I am aware of) that leads me to believe that he’s capable of either professional or intelligent behavior on any level.”

    I think you are ignoring the other side of Marbury– the one that actually makes him a compelling character study (and the one that KB references in the title to this thread). For every “retarded”, unprofessional thing he has done, he has also been above the fray in many ways– he has been a philanthropist, a socialist, a heartbroken son, and in what matters to us as Knick fans, has actually played some tough, winning basketball (in low doses, but not to be ignored completely).

    Exactly. And in a futures bet, I would bet against Marbury going bankrupt. Players that usually go bankrupt are ones that are unmarried (Sprewell, Caffey) or have serious substance abuse problems. Marbury is happily married with a side business that seems to be working out OK. I mean Mark Cuban said marbury’s shows were “one of the most ingenious business moves ever … (and) it’s rare that somebody takes the initiative and takes on a business that not only might be profitable, but can change culture.”

    Guys like Marbury that count every penny, have a family, and don’t have addiction problems don’t go bankrupt from my experiences. In fact they tend to do rather well.

    My personal theory is that he is probably an alcoholic, and at the very best a “dry drunk”. I think that when his basketball career ends, which could be imminent, he will have a lot of work to do to in order to keep his life relevant. He’ll have 50 years to live as a non-NBAer and I’m not convinced that his “finding Jesus” will truly save him.

    I don’t think we’d call Stephon “retarded” if he was making $20 million less than he is. We never called Vin Baker “retarded”. We just called him a bad basketball player, and to benefit the team we sent him away…

    I don’t see the alcoholism. Alcoholics have a tough time staying in shape like Vin Baker, Shawn Kemp, etc. It’s hard to get up early in the morning & work out if the room is spinning. Marbury has been in excellent physical shape.

  67. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Once Marbury is gone, the exorcism will be complete.”

    How is Marbury more of a pariah than Jerome James, who has earned even less of his money than Stephon?

    Or Curry, who not only cost us two lottery picks but is too fat to play AND is committed to the team for 3 more years?

    Or Dolan who is the guy responsible for all of this nonsense in the first place?

    Or Isiah Thomas, who is still with the club.

    But as I told a reporter from AM News when the Isiah guilty verdict came down – most fans don’t care about this kind of stuff. Most fans just want their team to win. Winning cures all. And in the basketball sense, the Knicks are on their way to winning again. So for a lot of people that’s all that matters.

  68. Z

    “I don’t see the alcoholism. Alcoholics have a tough time staying in shape like Vin Baker, Shawn Kemp, etc. It’s hard to get up early in the morning & work out if the room is spinning. Marbury has been in excellent physical shape.”

    Yeah– but something tells me Chris Mullin wasn’t the only functional alcoholic in the NBA over the past 20 years. Sure, the stereotype is that drunks can’t walk straight, let alone run the pick and roll offense, but I think there is more likely than not a sub-culture in the NBA that is either drunk or high at tip off and Marbury, when he actually plays, is likely part of it. Just my personal belief. I have no physical evidence to support it. Just his erratic public persona (and the television interviews in which he appears 100% blatto).

  69. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I don’t see the alcoholism. Alcoholics have a tough time staying in shape like Vin Baker, Shawn Kemp, etc. It’s hard to get up early in the morning & work out if the room is spinning. Marbury has been in excellent physical shape.”

    Yeah– but something tells me Chris Mullin wasn’t the only functional alcoholic in the NBA over the past 20 years. Sure, the stereotype is that drunks can’t walk straight, let alone run the pick and roll offense, but I think there is more likely than not a sub-culture in the NBA that is either drunk or high at tip off and Marbury, when he actually plays, is likely part of it. Just my personal belief. I have no physical evidence to support it. Just his erratic public persona (and the television interviews in which he appears 100% blatto).

    Yeah but Mullin never had a great physique. From his wikipedia page:

    A heavy drinker in college who never worked out much, other than playing basketball, Mullin sank further into alcoholism.

    I’m just saying that it’s hard to be an alcoholic and have a great body. That’s why Marbury doesn’t fit the bill for me.

  70. Z

    “I’m just saying that it’s hard to be an alcoholic and have a great body. That’s why Marbury doesn’t fit the bill for me.”

    I am neither a doctor, an athlete, a psychiatrist, nor a recovering alcoholic, so I have no authority on the subject whatsoever; however, from experience I find that “it is always the people you least expect”, (Chris Mullin was never a physical specimen, but as a sharp shooter and a bona fide “gym rat” he wasn’t exactly red flagged as a guy you thought would drink a 12 pack on game day).

    And he may have been a fat-fuck like Babe Ruth for all I know, but in 1927 Paul Waner hit .390 for the Pittsburgh Pirates “swinging at the ball in the middle”.

  71. Ben R

    Z-man – I would agree that it is probably more D’Antoni’s fault than Walsh’s in the mishandling of the Marbury situation, I just lumped them together for ease because I am not sure.

    As for Marbury after basketball I think he will do fine. I think Marbury is not stupid and a genuinly good person. Very few NBA players have done as much good as Marbury especially since all the while much of his good deeds were ignored so he could be attacked for being a bad teammate or giving a bad interview. People need to remember he has never had any appearent financial, legal or addiction problems. If he was truly an addict I do not think he is savvy enough to be able to hide it like Mullin did.

    I think Marbury is smart enough he just has a combination of poor education and lack of any perspective. Some players are able to overcome the attention that gets lavished on them from a very young age but some just end up screwed up. Most get screwed up in more predictable ways like drug prblems or criminal problems, Marbury has avoided all of that but instead has stuggled in his interpersonal relationships and has clashed with coaches and teammates.

    Listening to Marbury in interviews he is trying to be a good man and even take the higher road in the D’Antoni thing but is unable to effectively communicate his side and ends up sounding stupid or selfish. Marbury is fascinating and would be a very interesting psychological study, but I do not think he is a bad person and would say he has more character than alot of more popular NBA players.

  72. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Listening to Marbury in interviews he is trying to be a good man and even take the higher road in the D’Antoni thing but is unable to effectively communicate his side and ends up sounding stupid or selfish. Marbury is fascinating and would be a very interesting psychological study, but I do not think he is a bad person and would say he has more character than alot of more popular NBA players.

    This is an interesting line of thought. I don’t think you can paint a person good or bad with black/white precision (or at least most people). Hell you can’t even pinpoint someone’s virtues half the time. For instance is Marbury greedy (holding out for full pay) or charitable ($15 sneakers). That’s the interesting duality in him.

  73. Owen

    Popular thread. I didn’t read it all, but my comment would be this. I think it’s ludicrous that Marbury is being portrayed as a victim, and I think its incredible he wouldn’t play when they needed him. I hope that act turns the tide of public and press opinion around so we never have to hear ever again about how Steph is getting a raw deal. It’s ludicrous. Third most highly paid player in the NBA, total wack-job, and never much above average as a player.

    Going to sign off with this, in case you all forgot it….

    “In the midst of our upbeat Charleston conversation about religion and the new season, (Marbury) raised the subject of his reputation for selfishness. “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

  74. Thomas B.

    Marbury’s problem is not alcohol it is trust.

    A lack of trust leads to fear.
    Fear leads to pain.
    Pain leads to anger.
    Anger leads to the dark side of the force. Right Master Yoda?

    Yoda: Right the young Padawan Thomas is. Strong in the force is Starbury but on a path to the dark side, he is. Much fear I sense in young Starbury.

  75. Sean

    Ok look the Marbury issue is simple. Marbury has never grown up. I mean it evident with the things he does and says. He sounds like a well meaning guys most of the time, but just when you are about to become a fan of the man his me first selfish side comes out. Now I do agree we need a divorce from the man he has BEEN A CANCER here there’s no denying it.(4 yrs in NY 5 different coaches)Now sure you will have people that say its not his fault but how can it not be his fault when the organization went out of its way to be built around him and even hire coaches that were suppose to make his game better.(Lenny Wilkins, Larry Brown, and by default Isiah) Put simply he alienates everybody his coaches,teammates, and knicker blogger’s everywhere. We cant throw all the blame on him because he never had a team that compliment his skills but he refused to adjust himself to other like a good pg should. So lets stop the BS about Marbury unfair treatment the Knick’s new management just doesn’t want to deal with his BS. Dont believe me lets go down memory lane shall we Jared Jeffries sucks, Q sucks,and heck Jerome James sucks but there better teammates than Marbury and they will listen to coaching unconditionally without question. Never heard these guys question there coach in public let alone 3 different coaches. An to the guys saying ZBO was a bigger cancer dude your smoking he bought in teh system even D’Antoni and Walsh were surprised by this hes a team player his biggest issue was that fat contract. Trust me if he was making 10 million or even 13 million in 2010 he would still be on our roster. Now for the buyout argument 1. Hi news flash were in a recession not even James Dolan trying to spend money when he doesn’t have to. 2. Marbury refused to leave without giving the team a discount lol when have you ever hear of a buyout where the players get all their money. Basically only Marbury decides to give back some green back hes riding the pine its just economics why the hell pay him 22 mill to go play else where (not to mention get another contract and make more money, and could potentially hurt your team down the road)when he can ride the pine and keep a seat warm maybe Jerome James can teach him how to remain humble and appreciate what he has. F***ing gusy getting 22 mill to sit his a** on the bench I don’t care if hes from BK, he dug the whole and buried himself not D’Antoni. Heck I’m happy someone final putting this spoiled brats in there place. Hey Steph this aint Lincoln, or GT no more where people bend to your crap this the professional league you can will and have been replaced.(By a career backup that making his team win so much for being the best PG huh)

  76. Thomas B.

    Popular thread. I didn’t read it all, but my comment would be this. I think it’s ludicrous that Marbury is being portrayed as a victim, and I think its incredible he wouldn’t play when they needed him. I hope that act turns the tide of public and press opinion around so we never have to hear ever again about how Steph is getting a raw deal. It’s ludicrous. Third most highly paid player in the NBA, total wack-job, and never much above average as a player.

    Going to sign off with this, in case you all forgot it….

    “In the midst of our upbeat Charleston conversation about religion and the new season, (Marbury) raised the subject of his reputation for selfishness. “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

    Yoda: Understand this comment, I do not. Missed your point I have hmmmm?

  77. jon abbey

    one thing I never forgave him for was that insanely stupid comment to the press about being the best PG in the league. Kidd destroyed him that night because of it, and every other team got up for NY after that, especially the PGs. that one idiotic comment singlehandedly sabotaged that season. make fun of that all you want, but that’s what I think happened. I was a fan of his before that, but that started the long slide to where we are now.

  78. Thomas B.

    one thing I never forgave him for was that insanely stupid comment to the press about being the best PG in the league. Kidd destroyed him that night because of it, and every other team got up for NY after that, especially the PGs. that one idiotic comment singlehandedly sabotaged that season. make fun of that all you want, but that’s what I think happened. I was a fan of his before that, but that started the long slide to where we are now.

    Kidd almost always ate him alive. I don’t think its the comment that did it. The Knicks were P.A. before that comment and would have lost the same way absent the comment. I dont blame a guy for believing in himself, I do agree that he has not done enough to earn the self proclaimed title of “best point guard.”

    Anyway when you know how good you are you dont have to say it, I mean you never hear me saying how great I am.

  79. Sean

    Thomas B no comment wow on another note. My Marbury quote that totally sour me on him was actually last year when he left the team and then said he has dirt and would thrown Isiah under the bus. I mean I took his side during the Larry Brown saga and to see him do the same BS again with hisa biggest fan Isaiah Thomas was sicken then use the bone spurs as a way out last year plenty of players play threw that stuff that’s when I had enough of this guy

  80. cwod

    Thomas B., you’re a strange guy.

    I don’t think D’Antoni and Walsh have handled the situation particularly well, but I feel they’re basically on the right side of this thing. I agree with those who said Marbury saw significant minutes during preseason merely to showcase him for other teams. Ultimately, management wanted no part of him once the games counted.

  81. jon abbey

    I actually think that the slate was clean for Marbury in training camp, and D’Antoni just decided that it didn’t make sense to have him in the rotation. Duhon, Jamal, Nate, all fill their roles better than he would, and there weren’t many minutes left. if any of those three guys had gotten hurt or been awful in preseason, I think Steph would have gotten their minutes. I don’t see why things always have to be so Machiavellian, clearly D’Antoni wants to win games more than anything else.

  82. GiantsKnickFan420

    enuff wit marbury, its jus a nice headline filler. hes not in the plans. im interested in seeing what kind of contribution we can get from harrington,thomas,and mobley. hopefully dantoni can mix and match enough keep our heads above water, the conference and the division really arent that deep, teams already have themselves 10 games under.. i atleast want to see this team compete and show something.

  83. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    Again, I’m not trying to defend Marbury. I really have no interest in defending the honor/character/intelligence/etc. of anyone whom I’ve never met before (or most people I have met). I’m just trying to look at the facts I see and state my opinion. My opinion is that the Knicks organization could have handled this situation better (maybe I’m wrong and they gain a lot of respect, but I think they’re taking a huge risk by playing with fire). (At the same time they’ve handled it a lot better than the previous regime.) That doesn’t mean I think Marbury is right, there doesn’t have to be one right side and one wrong side. Was there a right side in the Dolan/Isiah/Larry Brown/Stephon Marbury mess of a few seasons ago? (As Mike points out, things are rarely black and white, yet society always tries to paint them this way and we get into a lot of trouble as a result.)

    Marbury has made his objective very, very clear: take every single cent he is owed under the terms of his contract and place it in a bank account (or whatever he wants to do with it). He’s doing a very good job of getting to his goal so far. Donnie Walsh also has a position, I’m not as clear what it is though. First it was never, ever under any circumstances buy out any player, now I’m not sure. (Has Walsh ever said there’s a buyout on the table, or was it merely D’Antoni’s opinion/advice that Marbury should get another contract offer and bring it to Walsh?) It seems Walsh is really intent on saving $1 million dollars, although it’s not even his money so I have a feeling that the same guy who didn’t want to pay Isiah Thomas to go away has decided that the Knicks are not going to pay Marbury to go away (at least not over a certain amount). D’Antoni’s position seems to be ambivalence.

    The thing I see as an extreme position and feel I should contradict is saying that the Knicks’ organization has done absolutely everything right and everything they say is the word of god and no one should ever even question their intentions, etc., and at the same time saying that Stephon Marbury is the worst human being alive and has done absolutely everything wrong and personally insulting anyone let alone someone you’ve never met.

    “IMO, at some point the Knicks concluded that they could NOT deal with Steph in a more upfront and professional manner like they did with Randolph. I’m not sure how, why, or when they concluded that, but most likely the combination of his history, dealings with Isiah, input from players, dealings with D’Antoni etc… lead them to believe that in order to get him to camp in shape and playing hard so they could move him, they would have to lead him to believe he had a clean slate.”

    You’ve as much as stated that your opinion is that Walshtoni maliciously misled Marbury into thinking he had a clean slate only to get a player who used to have a rep for being in great shape and an extremely hard worker to camp in good shape, but still feel that Marbury is the bad guy? I completely disagree with this version of events anyway, I think Walshtoni did give Marbury a chance and decided to go it without him. Everything else they’ve done with regard to him I don’t really understand. After the Miami rumors lately maybe their plan is to trade him, but it’s just odd that Walsh has said to the media he is not trading, cutting, or playing Marbury… There are many inconsistencies that emerge when you go through the quotes from Walshtoni, which again is why I say they have little to gain from this situation and a lot to lose. I’m not so sure this is Walshtoni’s call though, they don’t write the checks.

    If for no other reason, they dealt with Randolph the way they did because they needed to raise his trade value (I thought maybe they really liked his play for a while there, but Walsh traded him the first chance he had). If they simply benched Zach they would not be a player in free agency 2010. Marbury is gone at the end of the season.

    “I think he has been toxic to the organization and takes away from my pleasure as a Knicks fan.”

    Yes, the Knicks biggest problem has been Stephon Marbury…………????????????????? What? They traded for him knowing exactly what they were getting. No other team even wanted the guy and the Knicks not only took him, they took Penny Hardaway, and they gave up 2 picks and 2 young players and Antonio McDyess. Scott Layden was reportedly fired in large part for refusing to make that deal. The Knicks problems have run a lot deeper than Stephon Marbury.

  84. Ted Nelson

    Why hasn’t more heat gone to the man at the top, the man who writes the checks and has the chance to end this whole mess with one signature? The more I think about this whole mess the more I realize where the blame should go. Who pushed for a Marbury trade in the first place? Who threw money around like candy at his super-sweet 16? Who refused to pay Isiah Thomas to go away?

    How quickly I have forgotten who the real villain at the Garden is. Man has Dolan done a great job of shielding himself with Walshtoni…

  85. caleb

    I see this as much more about D’Antoni than Walsh. Walsh has acted surprised at the total benching and his responses to questions at the time indicated that he was not happy about it.

    Looking forward to the Knicks future, this is the most interesting thing. D’Antoni and Walsh were not on the same page. If this is what D’Antoni wanted to do, Walsh would have bought him out this summer. If Walsh was pushing to trade him, D’Antoni would have showcased him, a la Randolph. At this point, they’re stuck together. A Machiavellian would call it a power move by D’Antoni.

    I think its incredible he wouldn’t play when they needed him.

    What makes you think the Knicks wanted him to play? If he refused to play, why isn’t he being fined $250k per game?

  86. Caleb

    I’m sure the situation would be much better if he had just deigned to hire an agent.

    Yeah, this is how agents earn their money. Especially with a guy who is not the most press-savvy person in the world.

  87. Italian Stallion

    On Marbury eventually going broke:

    Not too long agon a read an article suggesting that Steph bought a private jet for 45 million. I don’t know what Steph’s personal and business life are like, but I have a funny feeling he really doesn’t need an extremely expensive and rapidly depreciating asset with high operating costs in his life at a time when his major income stream is about to evaporate to much lower levels. Furthermore, even if he does, he could have easily bought a fractional share in a plane from Net Jets and had one available 24 hours a day anywhere while limiting his costs – just like many other wealthy businessmen do. IMO, this kind of excessive expenditure suggests an attitude about lifestyle etc… that’s consistent with the irresponsible financial behavior that has lead to many other athletes to eventually go broke. I’m making a simple prediction. Marbury is eventually going to go broke.

    On the exorcism of Marbury:

    It’s true that Dolan, Isiah, and some of the other players that Isiah brought in were terrible disappointments. I’ll be happy when Jerome James is finally gone, when Curry is finally either in shape playing or traded etc… The difference is, even though those other players were disappointments as athletes and Knicks, they weren’t a constant source of controversy and disruption to the team. If anything, Curry is a very likeable guy. You just wish he would get in shape. My problem with Marbury is all the negative – whether it was fighting with coaches (a series of them), court cases, interns, walking out on the team, being unpopular with his teamates, refusing to play etc… It’s always about him. So the sooner he is gone, the sooner and more I will enjoy the Knicks.

  88. Italian Stallion

    Looking forward to the Knicks future, this is the most interesting thing. D’Antoni and Walsh were not on the same page. If this is what D’Antoni wanted to do, Walsh would have bought him out this summer. If Walsh was pushing to trade him, D’Antoni would have showcased him, a la Randolph. At this point, they’re stuck together. A Machiavellian would call it a power move by D’Antoni.

    Caleb,

    This was addressed earlier.

    I don’t know if Walsh and D’Antoni were on the same page the whole time, but STEPH WAS SHOWCASED! That’s exactly why he was given time in pre season even though he wasn’t in the long term plans for the regular season. He WAS being scouted by other teams to see if had recovered from surgery. I read multiple reports from other team sources suggesting that everyone was convinced he still had all his skills.

    In order to maximize Steph’s value to the Knicks (either in a trade or an offer from another team that would reduce the cost to the Knicks), it was essential for Steph to be in top shape, on his best behavior, and playing well in pre season. That’s why he was given that opportunity.

    You can argue that misleading him by telling him had a clean slate etc… wasn’t the right thing to do. I can understand that perspective. I would simply counter that IMHO, had they told him he was out of the plans in the summer, pre season would have gone down a lot differently and Marbury would have even less value than he has now. IMO, they handled other players more professionally (like Zach), because they were confident Zach was going to show up and play hard no matter what.

    IMHO, both D’Antoni and Walsh had already made up their minds that Steph was out from very early on. If there was any difference in opinion or understanding, it was only about the timing. It appears that Walsh would have been OK with Steph playing for ahwile while D’Antoni felt that it was better for the team in the long term to sever the problem as soon as the season started and start fresh.

  89. Caleb

    IS,

    It’s a fair point that he was showcased in the preseason, to show his knee was OK. But if that’s all it was, the showcase wouldn’t have lasted a month – they’d have run him down the court for a game or two, then kept him out to avoid injury, make sure he can pass a physical. Plus, it was handled in a weird way – playing him 4 minutes on opening night, then inactivating him. That’s the sound of gears grinding – people not on the same page. Marbury won’t be around past this year anyway, so I’m more interested in the Walsh-D’Antoni dynamic.

    At this point, there’s no reason to moralize or point fingers – each side (Steph vs. MSG) is using what leverage it has to try and make the best deal for itself.

    btw… I don’t know why people keep talking about a buyout; Walsh has said he’ll never buy anyone out. He’s right — as long as the owner is willing to pay, why let go of an asset that might bring back value in a trade, however long the odds?

  90. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    No one is defending Marbury’s past actions. That’s what a clean slate is all about. It is possible to say that both Marbury AND the Knicks have mishandled the situation.

    —————————————————-

    I don’t really think Marbury was “showcased.” I tend to believe that everyone got a chance to play in preseason, to show the new coach what they could do. D’Antoni went with “his rotation” with an eye on both the present and the future.
    If he were being “showcased” Marbury would have been moved before he was benched. The President of the team wouldn’t have let him get benched in the first place… Donnie Walsh doesn’t strike me as someone who plays tricks. He seems like as much of a straight-shooter as they come, but maybe I’m wrong.

    ————————————————–

    “as long as the owner is willing to pay, why let go of an asset that might bring back value in a trade, however long the odds?”

    Because it’s a lit fuse ready to explode when the first 5 game losing streak hits. I don’t buy much into the media having an impact on a team’s play, but if they Knicks are losing, Marbury’s mug is on every front page, and the crowd is booing and chanting about Marbury… it’s just not good for anyone involved and yet another black eye for a franchise trying to revive its image. The franchise’s image is going to have a lot to do with attracting top free agents: if the Nets are building a new stadium, Jay-Z makes them look cool, his friend LeBron lures another bigtime free agent to play with him while the Knicks are the East Coast Clippers… This is an opportunity for Walshtoni to raise their images to some extent (dealing with him fairly and winning with a team no one expected to do anything), but their images are already so high I think they have more to lose by keeping Marbury around than to gain.

    There is a healthy precident of teams cutting overpaid players and
    not suffering as a result. I can wait until the deadline, but Walshtoni should do what they cant to keep it out of the media until then.

    —————————————-

    It doesn’t seem Walshtoni was on the same page, but I also don’t see any signs of a power struggle. Walsh has always made it clear he doesn’t interfere with his coaches, I am a little weary of D’Antoni’s GM aspirations…

  91. Caleb

    it’s a lit fuse ready to explode when the first 5 game losing streak hits.

    I think you’re confusing cause and effect.

    There is a healthy precident of teams cutting overpaid players and
    not suffering as a result.

    Two words: opportunity cost.

    I am a little weary of D’Antoni’s GM aspirations…

    Met, too. That’s what makes me a little nervous about the whole thing…

  92. Z

    “Walsh has said he’ll never buy anyone out. He’s right — as long as the owner is willing to pay, why let go of an asset that might bring back value in a trade, however long the odds”

    Caleb– let’s say a buyout opens a roster spot to bring on a young player with upside (like a Patrick Ewing Jr., or a similarly unsigned 2nd rounder from 2008). Isn’t this the same as trading Stephon (say for Sczcerbiak + Snow + 2nd rounder)? It’s not just the odds are steep against getting any value at all– it’s that the odds are steep against making any deal at all because of the size of the contract.

    Plus, since no salaries match up with Stephon straight up, Walsh would HAVE to buy somebody out in a Marbury trade anyway (except in the case of Marion (and there is no way that the Heat trade Marbury for Marion and a pick (if Walsh pulled that off I might even forgive him for the Balkman trade!))).

    So it seems to me that a buyout would actually accomplish the same thing as a trade in Marbury’s case. I am therefore confused, like Ted, jon, and others, as to what exactly Walsh is trying to do (other than maybe being the front-man for Dolan’s spite).

  93. Ted Nelson

    “I think you’re confusing cause and effect.”

    I didn’t say it’s cause of anything. If you’re on the verge of a $100 million renovation that will install central heat, why play with fire in front of a leaky propane tank? The Knicks have a chance to build a DYNASTY in 2010 and should not let anything get in their way.

    “Two words: opportunity cost.”

    For which is the opportunity cost higher? Keeping Marbury or cutting Marbury?

    -Cutting–pay $40 million for a two year rental on the carcass of a former All-Star or two former starters and/or a draft pick you could have bought for $3 mill in June.

    -Keeping–LeBron fing James

    Are the chances that LeBron James thinks to himself “the Knicks dicked around Marbury, so I don’t want to play there” very high? No. However, this could still get a whole lot uglier. Maybe two Brooklyn boys, Jay-Z and Marbury, tag-team The King to bring the best basketball player in the world to the favorite borough of all three?

    I’m all for keeping Marbury until the trade deadline and moving him in a deal that makes sense. I just think Walsh has to weigh the probability that Marbury attracts a good trade value vs. the probability that this becomes another black eye for the East Coast Clippers…

    As I said, I have a feeling Walsh’s hands are tied from above on this matter.

  94. Ted Nelson

    Besides LeBron, Z points out the other opportunity cost of Marbury: a young prospect that could take his place. Good explanation, Z… you likely get the same value by cutting him as by trading him.

    Also, if 2008 was a relatively strong draft class and 2009 will be a relatively weak draft class, the smarter move might have been to go for a 2008 2nd rounder over a 2009 2nd rounder or even late 1st. In terms of playing the odds.

  95. jon abbey

    “Z points out the other opportunity cost of Marbury: a young prospect that could take his place. ”

    if Walsh really thought there was someone promising out there, he could quite easily buy out the corpse of Jerome James.

  96. Caleb

    why play with fire in front of a leaky propane tank?

    My point is that Marbury cannot hurt the team while he is not playing. What’s he going to do, poison the post-game spread? Of course this “distraction” will be blamed for the first 3-game losing streak, but don’t believe everything you read.

    In theory Z is on to something and I’m notopposed to a buyout if there were a decent prospect out there, but let’s face it, PEJ doesn’t cut it. This is mid-season and anyone who can play is already on a team. It’s pretty rare you get any better than the Randolph Morrises of the world.

    Ted is right that the trade options aren’t likely to be good – but they’re better than people who couldn’t make a roster. It’s not out of the question that we can wring a draft pick out of Washington or Sacramento or some team desperate to shed salary next year. Sure, picks get sold, but not many, and there are 20 other teams out there trying to buy.

    Anyway, after February it’s moot…

  97. Ted Nelson

    “Of course this “distraction” will be blamed for the first 3-game losing streak, but don’t believe everything you read.”

    My point is not that the distraction will cause the losing streak, but that it might escalate/explode once there is a losing streak: media covers literally nothing else/loses faith in Walshtoni, Walshtoni makes a stupid move that tarnishes its reputation, teammates start to wonder why the team doesn’t want to win, Lee/Robinson want more money to stay in a bad environment… the Knicks lose face in any way. This is a potential opportunity cost of keeping Marbury… the price may be as high as LeBron.

    “In theory Z is on to something and I’m notopposed to a buyout if there were a decent prospect out there, but let’s face it, PEJ doesn’t cut it. This is mid-season and anyone who can play is already on a team. It’s pretty rare you get any better than the Randolph Morrises of the world.”

    It’s rare, but possible. Not too many people can call who the undrafted free agent steals are going to be, or they wouldn’t go undrafted. And the Bruce Bowen’s, Raja Bell’s, Darrell Armstrong’s, Francisco Oberto’s, Andres Nocioni’s aren’t in the NBA until their mid-20s, so there might be a guy like that playing in Europe/D-League right now.
    Had the Knicks made the decision to buyout Marbury early enough they would have had another roster spot open to go after any number of cheap free agents in the offseason. They could potentially have filled out their summer league/training camp rosters with better talent (offering open roster spots and the chance to play for D’Antoni) and found at least another Roberson.
    It’s a small chance, but if some undrafted free agent from this draft is the next whoever it might be part of the opportunity cost of not cutting Marbury.

    -Maybe the Knicks could have tried to sign Anthony Morrow or DeMarcus Nelson with a void in the backcourt. Them both signing with GS might have had something to do with Baron’s departure and a run-and-gun system both of which the Knicks could have offered (don’t know if the timing supports that theory).
    -Bobby Brown had a big game last night for Sacto, I recall him being a free agent this offseason, no?

    Knicks probably would have gone with PEJ, who they don’t look to be losing anytime soon.

    “Sure, picks get sold, but not many, and there are 20 other teams out there trying to buy.”

    I think there’s a maximum you can pay for a pick, but I’m not sure. Somehow Portland manages to buy a first rounder in most drafts, the Suns sold the pick that the Bulls used to take Luol Deng.

  98. Z

    “if Walsh really thought there was someone promising out there, he could quite easily buy out the corpse of Jerome James.”

    This is, of course, 100% true and has been for years now. James is even more expendable than Marbury because his expiring contract isn’t even an asset next year because the Knicks will have $42 million in expiring $$ without his. He has absolutely no value (whereas Marbury only probably no value).

    But Marbury is the one that is causing the strife in the organization right now, and if we are not buying him out because we want to trade him for value there is pretty much no scenario where we get more value than a marginal 2nd round talent; further, if he’s not buying him out because he is morally opposed to buyouts, then we can only trade him for Shawn Marion, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, KG, etc… Again, probably not gonna happen.

  99. Caleb

    There’s a $3 million ceiling on payments for draft picks.

    Ted,

    you are right that undrafted free agents can be valuable (Anthony Mason, anyone?) But Mason and all the guys you mentioned were signed in the summer, not mid-season after failing to impress through the draft, summer league, tryouts, etc. Now – even though a worthwhile trade is a longshot, it’s still much more likely than finding a decent FA who is still unemployed.

    If Walsh had bought out Marbury over the summer, it might have been defensible – hey, we could have signed Nick Fazekas – which is all the more evidence that he and D’Antoni were not on the same page.

    I’m not suggesting that Marbury will fetch a veteran star – but he could save some team a lot of money. I’m not the first to say it, but maybe Sacramento for Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas & a future pick (they’d never give up this year’s, it’s top-5). Or maybe Chicago gives up Larry Hughes and Ben Gordon (if they can’t find another taker for Gordon, it clears $14 million off their books for next year). They could give us their 2nd rounder. Or if we discover some actual great unsigned FA playing in his driveway, we can do a buyout for the roster spot.

  100. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the relationship between Walsh and D’Antoni seems to me to be quite fascinating.

    D’Antoni has never been one to play nice with others, and the current relationship “works” in so much as Walsh seems to basically stay out of his way. So it’ll be interesting what kind of conflicts we will see when Walsh finally does bring in a new GM, which will be happening fairly soon, right?

    The chafing likely will happen right away.

  101. Ted Nelson

    “But Mason and all the guys you mentioned were signed in the summer, not mid-season after failing to impress through the draft, summer league, tryouts, etc. ”

    None of the guys I mentioned was drafted or played a single NBA game before his 24 year old season (Raja Bell) some were 26 before entering the NBA (Bruce Bowen, Darrell Armstrong). Therefore, some of these guys were available 3 or 4 straight summers/seasons without getting onto the floor for a single NBA game (maybe some didn’t finish college until 23, 24 I have no idea).

    Yes, my point was mostly that if they had their stuff together Marbury could be long gone and Bobby Brown, Anthony Morrow, and/or DeMarcus Nelson could be Knicks. There could also have been a Bobby Brown this year who went undrafted and won’t catch on until next season (Brown was eligible for the 2007 draft but didn’t play in the NBA last season). The Knicks might have identified him (could be PEJ, luckily they don’t seem to have any competition for his services). Not that any of those three will necessarily even be in the NBA in 3 seasons… it would have been a very long shot, but the roster spot is part of the opportunity cost of having Marbury around. You might say that the opportunity cost of cutting him is higher, I really don’t know. At this point I suppose they should just keep him until the deadline.

    (Mason was a 3rd round pick in 1988.)

    “Or if we discover some actual great unsigned FA playing in his driveway, we can do a buyout for the roster spot.”

    The D-League is somewhat designed for this purpose.

    There very well might be some Oberto/Nocioni types playing in Europe who haven’t had a shot at the NBA yet, or an Anthony Parker who blew his first shot but has developed. Those would also have been summer moves, of course, and this summer wasn’t a good time to lure European pros with the weak dollar…

  102. DRed

    “Z points out the other opportunity cost of Marbury: a young prospect that could take his place. ”
    if Walsh really thought there was someone promising out there, he could quite easily buy out the corpse of Jerome James.

    When was Jerome James alive?

  103. Z

    “the roster spot is part of the opportunity cost of having Marbury around. You might say that the opportunity cost of cutting him is higher, I really don’t know. At this point I suppose they should just keep him until the deadline.”

    Maybe not until the deadline, but at least until after December 15th, at which time free agents signed over the summer will be tradable, giving teams more leeway if they did, in fact, want to trade for Marbury.

  104. Hooped Up

    How the Knicks didn’t have the foresight to know that Marbury might be needed at some point this season is beyond me. Love him or hate him, he cracks any teams 8-man rotation and the decision to have him sitting behind Duhon and Roberson was made purely out of of spite.

    Marbury will sit and collect cheques out of spite if he has to all season long.

  105. Italian Stallion

    How the Knicks didn’t have the foresight to know that Marbury might be needed at some point this season is beyond me. Love him or hate him, he cracks any teams 8-man rotation and the decision to have him sitting behind Duhon and Roberson was made purely out of of spite.
    Marbury will sit and collect cheques out of spite if he has to all season long.

    I don’t think that’s the case at all.

    The reason he’s sitting is because Walsh and D’Antoni decided he wasn’t in the long term plans. Then, independently, D’Antoni decided that the best strategy for building the chemistry of the new team would be to NOT include Marbury (until he’s traded or bought out etc..) and then disrupt it and start over again.

    You can argue that he used a different standard with Randolph than he did with Marbury, but it’s likely that Marbury’s history of being disruptive and input from the rest of the team played a part in that decision.

    I don’t think Marbury’s talent or potential contribution to the team
    this year carried much weight because the coach is also thinking longer term.

  106. Italian Stallion

    Even is there is some opportunity cost for keeping Marbury around (and I see zero evidence that it is signficant if it exists at all), buying him out was never really an easy option. It was Marbury that stated he wanted every penny he was owed even before serious consideration or discussions with Walsh were started. When you start from an unreasonable (or ignorant) position, have no agent, are not negotiating with other teams as advised by your own coach, etc… nothing is going to get done even when your employer is willing to be very reasonable. That’s the part that some people are missing. AT no point in time has the organization said or offered him anything unreasonable.

  107. SEAN

    HELLO WE HAVE A WINNING RECORD THIS LATE IN THE SEASON THAT HAS NEVER HAPPEN UNDER MARBURY SO Y ARE WE BITCHING. COME ON GUYS EITHER YOUA KNICK FAN OR A MARBURY FAN IF YOUR A MARBURY FAN GO KICK ROCKS ITS ABOUT THE DAMN TEAM. AN THERE’S NO I IN TEAM

  108. TDM

    I just heard that the Zach trade may fall through. Mobley is having trouble passing his physical – heart condition.

    This opens the door a bit to swapping Camby for Mobley. Or we may get Zach back . . .

  109. Ted Nelson

    Even is there is some opportunity cost for keeping Marbury around (and I see zero evidence that it is signficant if it exists at all), buying him out was never really an easy option. It was Marbury that stated he wanted every penny he was owed even before serious consideration or discussions with Walsh were started. When you start from an unreasonable (or ignorant) position, have no agent, are not negotiating with other teams as advised by your own coach, etc… nothing is going to get done even when your employer is willing to be very reasonable. That’s the part that some people are missing. AT no point in time has the organization said or offered him anything unreasonable.

    There’s an opportunity cost to every decision. In this case it will be hard to tell what it is for a few seasons.

    I’ve seen no evidence that his employer is reasonable in any sense, let alone very reasonable. His employer is James Dolan. The only Knicks employee I’ve heard say Marbury could be bought out is the coach, and he mentioned it as his personal advice. Donnie Walsh stated he doesn’t buy players out and Dolan hasn’t said a word publically as far as I know but refused to pay his other buddy Isiah not to work for the Knicks. I don’t know why you make the assumption that the Knicks are being the good guys in this situation and offering Marbury a reasonable deal unless you’ve seent he deal on the table yourself. I think you’re jumping to huge conclusions and putting a lot of faith in an organization that has done nothing to deserve it. Donnie Walsh is the President of Basketball Operations, he doesn’t write the checks.

    Marbury has every right to demand his money. Other players don’t take less money out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s in their economic and/or personal interest to do so: time value of money + signing another contract and/or getting paid millions to go home with their family instead of getting paid more millions to not play for a team that doesn’t want them. Marbury has to understand that by demanding every cent he’s putting himself in a position to ride the bench all season. Judging from his public statements that he’s getting ready for next season, I think he does.

  110. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    When you can come up with a player that the Knicks aren’t signing now because Marbury is on the team, we can discuss the opportunity cost. Until you can come up with an actual opportunity cost, you are just taking a theoretical contrian position. In addition, you assume that if there was an actual opportunity cost that Walsh wouldn’t consider it. IMO, if there was a player available right now that the Knicks were hot for, Walsh would change his thinking. He’s not an idiot. As of right now, it appears that as soon as Marbury is finally gone, PEJ is on the team. So there is basically no cost unless you think waiting on PEJ is big issue.

    To me, this buyout is stuff is so basic I don’t even know why we need to discuss it.

    1. Both sides have every right to negotiate the best possible deal.

    3. The mathematically fair buyout is for the team to give the player the present value of his contract minus the amount he gets from a new team. That way the player gets exactly what he is owed and the team saves the present value of the services it is giving up.

    3. Sometimes there are personal considerations that go beyond the fair values that might make a player take less (wanting to win a title, play in a specific city etc….) but I have never heard of a player getting bought out and making more money. That kind of thing would turn common sense on its head.

    4. By initially insisting on getting every penny he is owed from the Knicks, Marbury was asking for more money than he is contracted for because he will be able to sign for something with someone. To me, he’s entitled to ask for whatever he wants, but it’s such a idiotic position that it can’t be taken seriously and the Knicks can’t be criticized for saying no or ignoring it. Every team in the league would say no to that.

    5. It is Marbury that chooses to work without an agent that could facilitate negotiations with another team and explain the mathematics of buyouts and typical fair standards in these deals to him to maximize his value etc….

    6. Walsh, Marbury, and a union rep have met, so something has been discussed.

    I see nothing unreasonable about the Knicks position. If they offered him less than the present value of his contract or otherwise refused to talk to him, they would be wrong. However, they have talked and he was even privately advised by the coach to begin negotiations with other teams so both sides could move on.

    I simply have no problem with the Knicks position and think if Marbury was an informed person behaving like a professional that wants to move with his career, this would have been over a few weeks ago.

  111. Ted Nelson

    “I have never heard of a player getting bought out and making more money. That kind of thing would turn common sense on its head.”

    It’s called getting cut. If you don’t want someone on your team but they have no interest in leaving you cut them, you do not buy them out. Why Marbury still wants to be on the Knicks, I don’t know. I suppose it’s stubborness. I would also take the buyout and get on with it if I were him and a buyout has in fact been offered, but he’s free to decide what’s in his own best interest.

    ————————————

    “Walsh, Marbury, and a union rep have met, so something has been discussed.”

    It’s fair to assume that they didn’t all just stare at one another… Until Walsh says there’s a buyout on the table I don’t think you can say with 100% certainty. Maybe he did say there’s a buyout on the table and I missed it.

    ———————————————————

    “When you can come up with a player that the Knicks aren’t signing now because Marbury is on the team, we can discuss the opportunity cost. Until you can come up with an actual opportunity cost, you are just taking a theoretical contrian position. In addition, you assume that if there was an actual opportunity cost that Walsh wouldn’t consider it. IMO, if there was a player available right now that the Knicks were hot for, Walsh would change his thinking.”

    Renaldo Balkman, Bobby Brown, Anthony Morrow, DeMarcus Nelson, the D-League and some guys playing abroad (see my earlier Bruce Bowen, Darrell Armstrong comments). Your stated position is that Walshtoni decided long ago that Starbury was not in their plans; therefore, they should have approached him about a buyout while other teams still had their MLEs to offer and the dollar was weak (since he may go to Italy, apparently). D’Antoni might have even pulled some strings to get him a nice setup with Benetton or something. If you know you’re going to buy someone out eventually don’t you do it when you can get the biggest discount? You can’t have it both ways: either they didn’t decide long ago to collude against Marbury or there’s a tanglible opportunity cost.

    As I’ve said, Walsh does not pay the bills and would have to consult a certain wannabe rock-star before cutting Marbury. He has all say over personnel decisions, but I have a feeling that Walsh isn’t allowed to cut a $20 million check of Dolan’s money.

    The other opportunity cost–the bigger one in my opinion–is the difference in the Knicks reputation with Marbury vs. without him. Walshtoni may come out of this looking brilliant for the way they handled Marbury, but one misstep or just a continued media circus could be bad for the Knicks’ already hurting rep. That could cost the Knicks LeBron James. It’s going to be almost impossible to say unless he comes out and publically says that I didn’t sign with NYK because of the way they treated Marbury (or is publically seen with Jay-Z and Starbury before or after signing with the Nets), but the guy as much as said his favorite borough is Brooklyn and his best buddy seems to be Jay-Z… (With Marbury speculating he might buy the Knicks one day, maybe he just takes a share of his soon to be hometown team from cash strapped Bruce Ratner, don’t know if that helps or hurts the Nets’ chances of signing LeBron).

    ———————————————–

    “I see nothing unreasonable about the Knicks position.”

    Without having heard the Knicks position from Dolan or Walsh, I have a hard time saying whether or not it’s reasonable.

  112. Ted Nelson

    “It’s fair to assume that they didn’t all just stare at one another… Until Walsh says there’s a buyout on the table I don’t think you can say with 100% certainty. Maybe he did say there’s a buyout on the table and I missed it.”

    To add to that… Walsh has publically said he’s never bought anyone out in his life and implied he would really rather never buyout anyone for the remainder of his life, is it unreasonable to think he’s playing hard ball? Dolan also choose not to pay Isiah his money when his job was taken from him, is it unreasonable to think he’d take the same stance with Marbury?

    What discount rate do you apply with interest rates close to zero and risk in the market as high as ever? I know Marbury doesn’t have an agent, but I assume he has financial advisors. There’s deflationary pressure and a looming global recession… if Marbury takes all his money today and invests it he’s probably as likely to have less money at the end of the season as more. I doubt he’s getting signed for more than the veterans’ minimum, if at all. The Knicks aren’t in a position to ask him to take much less money than he’s owed. Whether he knows that or not, I don’t know.

  113. Ted Nelson

    “one misstep or just a continued media circus could be bad for the Knicks’ already hurting rep”

    Last point. LA is a major media market, but for some reason the Clippers are never mentioned as a major free agent destination…

  114. Renaldo Balkman's Agent

    “LA is a major media market, but for some reason the Clippers are never mentioned as a major free agent destination…”

    That’s because their biggest free agent signing EVER was Cuttino Mobley.

  115. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    Sometimes it’s tedious to have a conversation with you. You just like to argue. Seriously, I may have to refrain because I don’t have the time for this.

    1. Teams don’t cut players that have value around the league. They try to trade them, negotiate a buyout, etc… If the player is useless, then they cut them. It would be foolish to cut Marbury.

    2. Yes Ted, they had this big meeting and just stared at each other like a bunch of idiots and didn’t discuss the various options for dealing with their mutual problems/interests.

    3. There may be many players that will eventually prove valuable that could have taken Marbury’s roster spot, but they are theoretical. If there actually was a player Walsh/D’Antoni wanted him right now, I am sure it would impact the thinking. As I said, Walsh is not an idiot. We already know the spot is probably eventually going to PEJ. That means Walsh has looked at the universe of players and thinks PEJ is the best player available for these Knicks right now (correctly or not). The opportunity cost of waiting for PEJ is meaningless. The reputation cost is probably less than zero because everyone understands the business aspects of this. If Walsh actually gave Marbury his full salary in a buyout the rest of the owners would come to NY and shoot him for stupidity. That would hurt his reputation a lot more. LOL

  116. steven

    I think the main point here is that Marbury would rather be paid than play. So he has no reason to accept a buyout worth less than his contract.

    But being paid is not, for Marbury, about maximizing his long-term financial prospects. It’s about getting what he feels that he earned; it’s about respect. To his mind, he earned the money, he earned communication from his coach, and he earned a starting position with no strings. Why should he accept anything else?

    I’m not defending him. I think he’s a complete asshole. But I also think his motivations are pretty clear here, and it’s not reasonable, from his point of view, to accept a discounted buyout. I wonder if he’ll stay inactive for the year and then walk away from basketball altogether.

Comments are closed.