Though I’d be more impressed if he tried to suspend Quentin Richardson for using the wrong parking space, Knicks coach Larry Brown is sufficiently alarmed by the team’s 0-4 start that he’s eager to deal Stephon Marbury. From the NY Post’s Peter Vescey.
Isiah Thomas, Larry Brown and Stephon Marbury, of all people, had to know it would come to this.
They had to know the arranged marriage between the consecrated coach and the self-ordained “best point guard in the NBA” (above) would end in a messy divorce. They had to know the perfectionist teacher, as impatient of dumb mistakes, slow learners and individualist inclinations as you’ll find in any classroom, and a player yet to confirm he’s concerned more about the standings than his own standing, would collide head-on. If Marbury’s genuinely cared about winning he never would have forced the up-and-coming Timberwolves into a trade with the Nets; the reason being Kevin Garnett was the man with the mega-salary and Stephon was destined to ride shotgun, poor dear, for the league-lowered max.
In any event, Thomas had to know importing Brown to become the Knicks’ latest savior would ultimately lead to Marbury’s deportation. Even Isiah Lord Thomas can only cater and curtsy to one franchise person at a time. Stephon had his way and sway for 11/2 seasons. Now Larry has all the juice.
When Thomas dealt Michael Sweetney to the Bulls as part of the package that secured Eddy Curry, he dispensed with the last remnant traceable to previous team president Scott Layden. In less than two seasons Thomas dumped every single player. Now it’s time for Brown to start dumping Thomas’ players.
On the surface Marbury is virtually untradable because of his seamy salary, $15 million this season, then $17M, $19M and finally, $20.98M. So it seems, anyway. Still, in case you’ve forgotten, this is the NBA, where nobody is untradable, no matter how much they’re on the books for or what beast of baggage they’re toting.
If I were a skeptic, I’d remind you, while Next Town Brown’s current crowd is 0-4, his previous pit stop is 4-0, the league’s last perfect play station.
Who says Brown and Marbury have nothing in common? Both have the unique ability of making their old employer better.
Newsday’s Jon Heyman wonders what sort of dialogue, if any, exists between Thomas and Brown.
Yesterday’s harangue in the wake of the Knicks’ fourth defeat in four games may be viewed in some circles as refreshing after the pabulum his milquetoast predecessors used to spout. However, he’s skirting the line. If he goes any further, it’ll sound like unbecoming excuse-making or unnecessary public politicking.
Brown and Isiah Thomas talk all the time. So why not spell out these concerns for Isiah’s ears? Why tell the world Richardson and Jamal Crawford are “out of position” and that he’s “not sure exactly how to use Steph [Marbury]” at times?
A day after the Trail Blazers took apart the Knicks, Brown performed his own deconstruction, spelling out potential problems with his roster, some obvious, others not. I’ll assume Brown was spot-on in everything he said. He just sounded a tad too worried about his own standing.
The one guy Brown would have loved, Kurt Thomas, was shipped out weeks before he arrived, if only to please a player, Marbury, who might never get Brown’s way. Eventually the team will be Brown’s, filled with the sort of tough guys he admires. But for now, he needs to mold what he’s got.