Marbury stated camp in October that, "he refuses to come off the bench in New York."
In an ironic twist of events. Marbury was granted his wish.
No matter how much Marbury has claimed to become a new man, there seems to be flashes of the old Starbury lingering. Marbury, who has stated that he refuses to accept, "a penny less" than the $21 million he is owed, has been relegated to Jerome James Universe, otherwise known as the inactive list. The Knicks refuse to jeopardize their growth and development for Marbury, who will not be wearing orange and blue after the 2008-09 campaign anyway. With the second highest salary in the NBA, Marbury is untradable, unmovable, and basically stuck. As long as this "stalemate" of a standoff between Marbury and New York Knicks management continues, he will continue to be an issue, and a dark cloud (with a Starbury logo stamped in ofcourse) over the Knicks organization, its season, and its new era.
With the Knicks eleven games into the season, the Marbury issue has begun to lose life. And why shouldn't it? There is not anything left to speculate or discuss until a major move occurs. Buyout or trade. With that said, a statement from another NBA player regarding Marbury's issue has sparked another issue. In a previous column written before the season started (Star(bury) Crossed Career: Now or Never for Stephon), yours truly touched on this year being a make or break year for Stephon's career.
So far, Marbury's year seems to be a driving force into the final nail of his coffin for his career and image.
Marbury, who seems to value the $21 million more than his own legacy (not the one he has created in his own mind), has not budged on negotiations for a buyout. He wants all of his money and he wants to be let go. He wants his cake, and wants to eat it as well. Unfortunately, for such a savvy businessman as Stephon Marbury, he doesn't understand the value and importance of this year.
Which brings the story to the comments made by Sam Cassell of the Boston Celtics. Sam Cassell stated:
They should let him go. They always tell us to be professional. Be Professional about it. Let the man go. Why not? I've known steph for years. I said a long time ago that he was special. That he's still going through all of this; its crazy. Let him go.Now there are a lot of baggage that comes with that statement. I understand the loyalty to the NBA Players Association. And I understand the bond to the fraternity as players. However, for Cassell to request that the New York Knicks give Marbury $21 million to go play somewhere else without any sort of compromise is ludicrous.
Cassell, who last year signed an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers wanted out, and was highly interested in signing with the Boston Celtics. He requested a buyout with the Clippers. Despite the shady character decision of wanting out of his deal to sign with a better team mid-season, Cassell agreed to forgo half of his salary to be let out of his contract. Cassell understands the process of a buyout. You give something, to get something.
Stephon Marbury has failed to grasp this concept.
The same way he has failed to grasp the concept of him embarrassing the Knick organization through his countless escapades of trials, empty promises, outlandish comments, team hiatus' and running off various coaches.
In a rare situation, the owner, and management have created a new way for leverage in negotiation and business. And suddenly, the players are crying about it.
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have followed suit in the Stephon Marbury situation by benching and rendering Jerry Stackhouse inactive, another talented, but overly verbally aggressive character.
Is it morally correct? No. But neither the way some athletes have signed rich and incentive laden deals, yet still carry themselves like they deserve, have the right to, or the world owes them.
Stephon Marbury and Jerry Stackhouse are both very talented players in the NBA. But somehow, most fans will never see the day when a Tim Duncan is told to "just sit out." And there is a clear and concise reason for a situation such as that never occurring with Duncan. Sam Cassell in essence was correct. Be Professional. However, he should have added, not only when it is beneficial to you, but at all times.
Another concept Stephon Marbury has failed to grasp.
It's dissapointing for Stephon Marbury to be linked with the greatness of Oscar Robertson statistically, yet be worlds away in the way fans see them both. Marbury could play next year for another team, in another city, and go on to do great things, even win a title. However, as stated in that article in May, "Marbury's antics as a Knick have cost him his career, and that can be solidified this upcoming season. Mark my words - this is Stephon Marbury's last chance."
And it is. Yet, Marbury is more concerned with not accepting "a penny less" than $21 million.
Just another failed concept for Marbury.