Rumors are swirling throughout the internet today that Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury may be done with the team. According to some New York media outlets, Marbury skipped practice today, which only added fuel to the fire that he is finished with the Knicks.
Marbury is scheduled to make $42 million over the next two seasons, rendering him virtually untradeable. As a result, the Knicks are reportedly trying to figure out how to buy out the rest of his contract, something they have done rather consistently over the past number of seasons with multiple players.
“Any type of penalty or suspension will be in-house and we’ll try to keep it within the confines of our team. This is an in-house matter with our team and we’ll keep it and leave it at that,” Knicks coach Isiah Thomas told reporters, according to the Daily News. “We hope to see him tonight at the game. However, if he’s not, make no mistake about it, we want him as a member of our basketball team.”
Second year guard Mardy Collins will start the game in place of Marbury.
The Brooklyn born and raised guard was drafted #4 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1996 NBA Draft after he played a single season at Georgia Tech. Marbury was traded on draft day to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the #5 pick in the same draft, which turned out to be Ray Allen.
Marbury played in Minnesota until 1999, when he was traded to the New Jersey Nets in a three-team deal which also included Terrell Brandon going from Milwaukee to Minnesota and Sam Cassell from New Jersey to Milwaukee.
After two seasons in New Jersey, Marbury was then traded to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Kidd. Marbury played two and a half seasons in Phoenix before he was acquired by the Knicks.
When Isiah Thomas joined the Knicks as General Manager, his first big move was to acquire Marbury and “bring him back home.” Thomas sent Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Antonio McDyess, Maciej Lampe, draft rights to Milos Vujanic, a first-round 2004 draft choice, and an additional future first-round draft choice for Marbury, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski. Marbury had an immediate impact on the New York fan base and brought some excitement back to Madison Square Garden.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans, Marbury was unable to bring victories to the team he cheered for growing up and has had a rather rough relationship with fans for the past two seasons. Many consider him overpaid and selfish while playing, which has become a further burden as Thomas tries to make the team younger and more team oriented.
If Marbury does get bought out, his likely destinations after the Knicks would have to be either Cleveland or Boston, unless he lives up to his promise to play in Italy after his career in the NBA is over.