New York’s Stephon Marbury (4 points, 10 assists Wednesday’s 97-92 loss to the Lakers) would rather be moved to shooting guard. Larry Brown seems convinced (and this is very faint praise) that Marbury is the Knicks’ only viable option at the point.
Depending on who else has a contract they want to dump, Marbury might be the immoveable object in this clash.
“I’m not playing the way how I normally play,” Marbury (above), sounding exasperated, said Thursday. “And I know that I could do way more than what I’m doing. I know last night I got 10 assists, and it felt like that was the hardest 10 assists I ever got.”
In a clear indication of how differently they view the matter, Brown praised Marbury’s performance as a play-maker in that game. He sounded incredulous at Marbury’s remark that he was O.K. with the new role as long as the Knicks were winning.
“When have we won here? Did we win the other way?” Brown said, referring to Marbury’s record as a scoring-first point guard. “So let’s get real here. We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to figure out a way to win games.
“I talked to him last night, he told me he wanted to play off-guard. It’s not that easy right now. What, are we going to invent a point guard? I’m just trying to figure out ways to help guys. But this is a work in progress.”
“Hell, yes, it’s frustrating,” Marbury said yesterday of his adjustment from scorer to playmaker. “I’m not used to playing in a game where I’m not attacking the person that’s going at me. That’s something different.” Marbury said he’s committed to winning and doing whatever Brown asks of him. But his endorsement of Brown’s methods comes with a warning label.
“If he wants me to play a different way, which I am playing a total different way, then if that’s what it’s going to take to win, I’m down for it,” Marbury said. “But if we lose, I’m not going to be happy with it.”
Brown wants Marbury to learn when to be aggressive and when to get others involved, but the controlled approach feels restrictive. “I shouldn’t have to go on the court and decide where I’m going to be aggressive,” Marbury said. “I should be able to be aggressive the whole time.”