Might Stephon Marbury be free to pursue Italian hoops and/or future chat show opportunities sooner rather than later? The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola claims “Knicks brass is considering what options it has to reduce Marbury’s role or get rid of him entirely.”

A trade is unlikely because Marbury, the team’s controversial point guard, is scheduled to earn $42 million over the next two seasons. Dolan’s and Thomas’ history suggests that they would not rule out negotiating a buyout for Marbury, who then would become a free agent. At the very least, Marbury’s minutes could be reduced substantially for as long as he remains on the team.

The Knicks are 2-3 entering tonight’s game in Phoenix. Marbury, 30, made the trip west but there is some uncertainty whether he will even play. The Knicks traveled to Phoenix yesterday afternoon and were not available for comment. Attempts to reach Thomas at the team hotel were unsuccessful.

Marbury accepted responsibility for Sunday’s loss to Miami after he threw away a pass in the final minute and allowed Heat guard Jason Williams to get open and hit the go-ahead jumper.

However, blaming Marbury for the Knicks’ record is unfair, especially since Jamal Crawford had a similarly brutal turnover and has struggled defensively. The same is true of Eddy Curry, who was a nonfactor in back-to-back performances against Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal.

A person close to Marbury says he is beaten down emotionally from everything that transpired over the summer and through the Sanders trial and that deep down he would welcome a change of scenery.

Sure, it might be great news for Stephon, but what about members of his family looking for free food and midtown parking?