While I mentioned the Knicks’ 106-95 loss to Chicago in passing last night while covering a far more crucial sporting event (a battle between two D-League titans — and by the way, before it was over, Ryan Hollins was blocking or changing every shot he faced.  Unless his showing against Austin was a weird abberation, I can’t see any reason he’ll not be earning real money somewhere. Not the United States, mind you), I only briefly touched on what seemed to be an unusually quiet night for the Self-Proclaimed No. 1 Point Guard in the NBA. The New York Post’s Marc Berman elaborates.

Stephon Marbury denied he pulled a Kobe in not looking to shoot, although it sure looked that way.

But he didn’t deny one thing – he’s furious at Isiah Thomas.

Marbury got benched to start the second half, finishing the night scoreless, shotless and deep in Thomas’ doghouse as the Knicks last night started to resemble last season’s Team Titanic soap opera.

Marbury disputed Thomas’ claim that he was not fit to play. A ticked-off Marbury said, “I wanted to play. I was feeling sick this morning but I was fine when I got to the arena.”

Incredibly, Thomas waited until the team was on the court to start the second half before telling Marbury he was sitting.

Of his no-shot performance, Marbury said, “I just didn’t have no openings. I was trying to move the ball and get the ball the way he wants us to play.”

It’s a stunning turn of events, these past six days. All along, it was thought if anyone would get the most out of Marbury, it would be Thomas, his neighbor and “father figure.” But they appear at the same crossroads that Marbury faced with Brown. But Marbury’s trade value is depleted.

“I hope it’s going to get better,” Marbury said, his voice sounding hurt. “The way it’s looking, it doesn’t look like it’s going up. It looks like it’s going down.

“I don’t know what’s going on, to be honest,” Marbury added.

Asked about their reputed great relationship, Marbury said, “This is business. Personal is personal. I can separate the two.”

I’m tempted to use the expression “coach killer”, but would prefer not to pay royalties to Jim Mora Sr.

In addition to Quentin Richardson suffering from a hamstring injury, the Knicks will be without Channing Frye for the next 3-6 weeks after the latter hurt his ankle landing on PJ Brown’s foot.

Starbury wasn’t the only megastar keeping a low profile at the Garden last night.  The Chicago Tribune K.C. Johnson reports Ben Wallace was benched for most of the game for violating Bulls coach Scott Skiles’ team rule forbidding headbands.

After Friday’s drubbing of the Celtics, Newsday’s Alan Hahn has a (backhanded) compliment for Boston’s city planners.

I™ve been to Boston more times than I can remember over the past 12 years and I can remember the city when œThe Big Dig was just a concept under discussion. They™re still only putting the finishing touches on it, but moving I-93 under the city made a dramatic aesthetic difference to the city. Instead of being shadowed by rusted, dirty elevated highways, you can now stand outside the Garden and see the city skyline. And if you look toward the Garden, you can see a lot of perennially-disappointed Celtics and Bruins fans.