Knicks president/coach Isiah Thomas plead ignorance yesterday regarding much of Stephon Marbury’s crazy summer. The ever-helpful Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, however, has been taking notes.
Just to keep Thomas up-to-date on his chosen point guard: The content of Marbury’s now infamous interviews, plus his blog entries, deposition and other rambling thoughts were the talk of the NBA. Every comment sounded more outrageous than the last and resulted in more ridicule for the face of the franchise.
In no particular order: Marbury says he intends to play in Italy in two years. He compared himself to David Beckham. Winning a championship isn’t everything. He’s found God. And he’s said that the Knicks are “my team.” Plenty of Marbury’s former teammates will vouch for the latter statement. Thomas, the Knicks’ president and head coach, didn’t quite know how to respond.
“Let’s just say this … I won’t even go into that,” Thomas said. “No comment.”
The more reporters asked about Marbury’s conduct and comments, the more defiant and uncomfortable Thomas became. When asked about Marbury claiming that winning a championship isn’t important, Thomas said: “Don’t mischaracterize the things that he is saying. I think he understands that there is a game of life and a game of basketball and I believe he wants to win at both of those. And I think he has already won big-time in life, considering where he started from. Now the challenge is to win big-time on the court, and I think he is committed to doing that.”
Marbury believes that he has made the necessary changes in his body and mind to turn around his career. He claims to be at peace after becoming a born-again Christian. It’s a noble transformation for a player who admitted to committing adultery, has fought with teammates and has made a career out of bullying and threatening anyone who dares to challenge him.
While I applaud Commissioner David Stern’s plans to impose sensitivity training on NBA franchises, there’s no guarantee such a program will go any better than this. Or this.