Though the piece is old and dusty by now, Sean Gregory’s Time Magazine coverage of Venus Williams’ new cheapo sneaker line with Stephen Marbury’s partners, Steve & Barry’s, includes a spectacular quote or two from the Knicks’ embattled point guard.
EleVen should score, but Ben Wallace, 33, is past his prime. Then there’s the Marbury mystery. He has always baffled fans with his dual talents for driving to the hoop and saying loopy things, like when he called himself the best point guard in the league (not by a long shot). Now he’s baffling Steve & Barry’s. Marbury has a financial stake in Big Ben’s success, but Venus Williams stands on her own. She has won six Grand Slams, after all. Still, Marbury is irked. “I’m doing sneakers, so she should have been under my line,” he says. “But obviously, that didn’t happen.” The company, clearly surprised by Marbury’s comments, decided not to respond.
It’s somewhat amazing that Marbury has any endorsements given his brutal off-season in which he 1) defended Michael Vick’s dog-fighting (later recanted), 2) told an interviewer he wanted to “see the spit on your mouth” during a bizarre TV appearance and 3) admitted in a sexual-harassment trial against his coach, Isiah Thomas, that he called a New York Knicks executive a “bitch” and had an extramarital tryst with a Knicks intern. What’s the problem? says Marbury. “My sneakers aren’t going anywhere, and they’re still affordable,” he says. “People aren’t going to stop living.”