In Sunday’s New York Post, “>poison pen Peter V. sheds some light on the Wally Szczerbiak and Penny Hardaway situations, but saves his best lines for the Knicks’ Stephon Marbury.

While walking toward the court at shoot-around last Tuesday, Stephon Marbury went on a mini-rant to reporters re: my pained view of his engorged opinion of himself as the NBA’s premier point guard. A photocopy of that day’s column was posted to his locker.

“Hata Vecsey, that’s his name. You can quote me on that. Hata Vecsey, not Peter Vecsey. He don’t even like himself. I’m telling ya, you can put that in the paper: He doesn’t like himself. I don’t even think his kids like him. I’m tellin’ ya. He doesn’t like himself.”

To his credit, the decidedly motivated Marbury was a third-period stud that evening, draining 17 of his 25 points up to that point in the 12-minute segment. Unfortunately for him and his team, hockey is on hiatus ” just like Stephon’s game in the payoff portion.

With the Knicks trailing the Kings by a deuce going into the fourth, Marbury went 0-4 from the field and 1-4 from the line in the final quadrant to finish with 26 points, seven assists and five turnovers.

I haven’t seen anyone come up so big since Bernie Kerik.

Why wait for New Year’s Eve in Times Square, when we lucky New Yorkers can watch Marbury drop the ball in crunch time all season?

It’s been a better night thus far for the New York backcourt, Marbury and Alan Houston combining for 39 points with the Knicks leading the Blazers, 78-60 midway through the 3rd quarter at the Garden.