September 30, 2008
You have to try and catch yourself here, nobody wants to be too insensitive, and throwing around the word "crazy" probably isn't going to help anything, even if the guy in question is acting like a right nutter.
But even after years of what could be termed a "deteriorating relationship with reality," Stephon Marbury is somehow making things even weirder, day by day.
Yesterday's performance at the Knicks' media day was beyond disturbing. The things that are coming out of this guy's mouth, you know, it's hard to believe anyone could think the way he does. Even if they've been spoiled beyond belief their entire lives. Even if the IQ might not be on the up and up. Even if they're a year removed from that "factorial" nonsense. Even if religion is doing its usual top-notch job of confusing simpletons and making things even screwier.
Adrian Wojnarowski truly had the best take, and while I don't like quoting too much because you really need to go read the column, I can't pass up on some of these things. Like, for starters, Stephon's initial impression of Mike D'Antoni's coaching philosophy:
"'From what I've seen, he allowed Steve Nash to dribble the ball for 22 seconds,' Marbury said. ‘He allows guys to shoot coming down on the break, one-on-three. For me, I like that style of basketball.'"
Well, no. I mean, "yeah," because you would like that style of basketball, but it doesn't exist anywhere but in Steph's own head. And it's certainly not Mike D'Antoni's "style."
I think the whole of basketball fandom have probably watched more Suns games than any other since 2004, partially because they're on national TV a lot, but mainly because they were (and hopefully still are) a joy to watch. And Steve Nash has never been taking shots, one-on-three, on the break. And if he did end up dribbling for over 15 seconds, it was because he was probing the defense. Getting into the paint and drawing defenders while keeping the dribble in a very un-Marbury like way. Not pounding it and waiting for a screener to come to the top of the key.
Worse, Stephon still thinks of himself as a very Nash-like player to watch:
"When he returned to talk again Monday, he declared that, ‘Stephon Marbury TV.net is coming soon, where you can view all highlights, clips and in-depth interviews.'"
Listen, Steph was underrated at times in terms of production a few times in his career. But I guarantee you nobody was hustling toward the TV just to see him pound the ball into oblivion. Nor were any of those YouTube searches put into motion for any reason beyond pulling up one of his oddball interviews on local NYC stations.
Then there was The Hug, which we pointed out on Monday.
It turns out he was embracing Ken Berger, of Newsday. And it was just as unnerving as the still shot appeared. Read his take. It's quite creepy. Not altogether unexpected, but still creepy.
As Woj and Ken have pointed out, the Knicks want nothing to do with Marbury. The coaching staff doesn't want him around, and management wants nothing to do with him. The only guy that wants him around is the dope who -- you guessed it -- has the power above all to either tell Steph to split or to keep him around. Owner James Dolan, doesn't have the cojones to tell Marbury to leave his team alone, because it would mean just sending him his checks for nothing. This blithering you-know-what still thinks he's going to get a return on his investment. What a joke.
An especially unfunny one, too, for the league's biggest fanbase. Nobody deserves an owner like this. Players can be told to go away. Sure, you still have to pay them, but you don't have to suffer from their influence. Owners, the ones who don't have to rely on physical gifts for a living, can use their heads and try to mitigate mistakes made in the past. They have that ability.
Dolan's gift, from his Daddy, is his living. He, not Stephon Marbury, has ruined basketball for a generation of Knicks fans. And that's factorial.