Claiming that last October’s addition of Eddy Curry made the Knicks “a great team”, Stephon Marbury swears he’s done rehashing last season’s mess under Larry Brown. Except for this one last time! From the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola.
Like a majority of the players, Marbury was confused by Brown’s decision to use an NBA-record 42 different starting lineups. Internally, Thomas was upset that Brown didn’t have a set rotation and that he damaged the confidence of rookies Channing Frye, Nate Robinson and David Lee by often playing them one night and benching them the next.
“I mean, it’s kind of like when you put white clothes and yellow clothes and blue clothes and all of them different type clothes together when you’re supposed to wash them separately,” Marbury said of the different lineups. “It’s kind of like that. When the white clothes came out, you were like, ‘Damn, why did I do that? That was a mistake.’ It’s kind of like that, but everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens just because. But I think everyone learned a lot from this year. I know for myself, I did.”
Marbury also couldn’t understand why he and Steve Francis never got an opportunity to play together. Thomas figures to start them together, which led Marbury to declare that the two have the potential to be “a devastating backcourt.”
But can they win together? Marbury has yet to produce a winning record since joining the Knicks. He’s also never been out of the first round of the playoffs, while his reputation as a malcontent only grew last season. Thomas was given the ultimatum to win or else. The same can be said of the player that Thomas is linked to.
“People ask me, ‘Why don’t you ever smile?’ I say, ‘Because I never was happy.’ Period,” Marbury said. “When you’re losing, it’s not fun. When you win, you all see me, right? I’m screaming, I’ve got the ball in my hand, they’re showing me on the back page smiling. (But) when I’m losing …”
The SF Chronicle’s Janny Hu observes the intrepid wheeling and dealing of the Baron Of The Buzzcut, Chris Mullin, who supposedly covets Al Harrington (as do others).
Golden State already has an agreement in place to send guard Derek Fisher to the Jazz. The move can be finalized Wednesday, and it’s safe to say the Warriors will not be done dealing then.
“How can we be?” said Mullin, who would not confirm the Fisher trade.
Mullin could be derailed if a discussed deal falls through, because the Warriors’ offseason moves appear to be linked. Their trade with Utah gives them three smaller salaries to use as trading options, and they can gather more by packaging a big-money player such as Troy Murphy with cheaper talent like Mickael Pietrus and Andris Biedrins.
The path to Al Harrington requires a sign-and-trade, most likely involving a third team, because the Warriors are over the salary cap. The most Golden State can offer the Hawks’ forward is the mid-level exception worth about $5.1 million, which represents a significant cut from the $7 million he made last season.
The Warriors also could face a legal roadblock: A court ruling last week prohibits the Hawks from initiating transactions that involve multiyear deals for players other than draft picks.
Subbing for Henry Abbott (paternity leave is a bitch, you won’t catch that happening to me) over at True Hoop, Joey of Straight Bangin’ is amongst those who’ve caught wind of Stephen A. Smith’s LeBronShell. To wit, what was reportedly a 5 year max extension for James is in fact, a 4 year deal that allows LeBron to opt out after Year 3. Writes Joey,
Perhaps James is happy for now to reap the PR benefits and local adoration that come with news of any sort of an extension when coupled with the team’s seemingly auspicious future (We almost beat a Detroit team that had stopped playing almost a month ago!). James is free to drive around Cleveland, now, without the rampant speculation and building anxiety about a potential imminent departure.
And yet, by working the three-year opt-out clause into his contract, James might have also put Cleveland on a functional three-year plan.
Is it possible that LeBron has assessed the organization, its roster, its cap space and decided that he’ll give the team three more years to prove that he can win a championship with it before moving on? Under any new CBA, teams would be able to sign their own free agents to more lucrative deals than those offered by new clubs, but will that really matter to LeBron if, as is rumored, his endorsement contracts contain geography-driven escalator clauses? Between now and 2010, he is likely to become an even bigger star, able to command even greater endorsement compensation. Maybe that would prove sufficiently ameliorative were LeBron to forgo a mega re-up with Cleveland to instead sign a merely huge deal with a different team. And if that happened a year before a new CBA were worked out, LeBron could likely still get the mega deal elsewhere.