As we embrace the notion of Stephon Marbury in Celtic Green, some reference points for your Marbury conversations:
Ray Allen and Stephon Marbury were traded for each other on draft day 1996. Marbury was drafted fourth, by Milwaukee. Allen was drafted fifth, by Minnesota. The Timberwolves gave the Bucks a future first-round pick (it became Danny Fortson) to switch.
Ray Allen played Jesus Shuttlesworth -- a point guard from Coney Island's Lincoln High, apparently modeled on Marbury -- in the Spike Lee movie "He Got Game."
Stephon Marbury's early career was a fruitful partnership with Kevin Garnett in Minnesota. As youngsters they made the playoffs twice. Little did Marbury know those seasons would be among the highlights of his career.
Marbury asked for, and received, a trade. He then became famous as a high-scoring loser in New Jersey (they headed for the Finals when he left in exchange for Jason Kidd), missed the fun in Phoenix (the magical D'Antoni and Nash era was born upon Marbury's departure), and New York (the team that has kindled hope by signing a mid-level free agent to play in his place).
Despite his inability to win more than now and again, Stephon Marbury has always been able to produce. Knickerblogger's Mike K. writes: "As his career with the team comes nearer to its disappointing end, it's hard to remember that he was a productive scorer early on. He has the highest single season PER (21.9 in 2005) as well as the highest PER (18.4) during the KnickerBlogger era. His defense was mediocre and his contract was suffocating, had the two been reversed he would have been a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame."
In 2002-03, his season in the sun, Stephon led Phoenix to the playoffs with a 44-38 record. As the successor to Jason Kidd and the predecessor to Steve Nash, Starbury scored more than 22 a game and was fourth in the league in assists. He was third-team All-NBA and an All-Star. In the Suns' first game of the postseason, Marbury banked in a 25-foot, buzzer-beating runner to upset San Antonio 96-95 in overtime, slowing down the Spurs on their march to the 2003 NBA title. Through it all, he earned rave reviews such as this one from Sports Illustrated: "a more mature Stephon Marbury has lifted Phoenix into playoff contention." With two years remaining on the Starchild's contract, Suns' GM Bryan Colangelo rewarded him with a four-year extension, giving the team a total obligation of more than $100 million for six seasons.
One of the best basketball books ever written, "The Last Shot" by Darcy Frey, tells the true story of Marbury's Lincoln High School team. It paints Marbury as a complex, but not wholly likable, character.
During this season when he has not worked, Stephon Marbury made an estimated $150,000 per day.
Something to worry about: Earlier this year, when there was a lot of talk that Marbury might become a Celtic, Boston went into a slump. Some suggested the Marbury talk may have unsettled young Boston guard Rajon Rondo.
"I said, 'Are you going to get in the truck?'" Marbury, in court, describing the words he used to lure a Knicks intern to have sex with him in his vehicle. Marbury's testimony created a sensation during Anucha Browne Sanders' harassment case against the Knicks.
One of Danny Ainge's worst moves as a general manager was to give up a lottery pick (later parlayed into Brandon Roy) for Stephon Marbury's cousin, Sebastian Telfair. After mediocre play on the court, and the second gun incident of his career, the Celtics' owner Wyc Grousbeck declared Telfair would never wear green again, and he was traded to the Timberwolves not long after that.
Howard Beck of The New York Times recounts a preseason exchange between Marbury and a player he'll compete with for minutes, Eddie House: "After Marbury drew a foul on Kendrick Perkins and hit two free throws, he turned and screamed at House, from midcourt: 'You're a bum!' When play returned to the Celtics' side of the court, House chirped, 'Don't worry about me. You better worry about Ray Allen,' whom Marbury was guarding. Marbury shot back, 'You're nothing!' then added, 'You're caught up in basketball. Get caught up in life.'"