Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Updated: November 5, 12:17 PM ET
Knicks to pay Marbury $21.9 million to ride bench
By Andrew Marchand
Special to ESPN.com
The New York Knicks have no plans to do anything with Stephon Marbury, except pay him his $21.9 million salary and give him a great seat to watch all their games.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and team president Donnie Walsh said they will not waive, buy out or trade Marbury. They also will not let him play in games, unless there is an injury to their top three guards, Chris Duhon, Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson.
After Walsh met with both D'Antoni and Marbury on Monday, the Knicks announced Tuesday that they feel the issue is dead. Marbury will be inactive until further notice.
"It is resolved," D'Antoni told a larger-than-usual contingent of reporters after practice on Tuesday. "It is. Pretty soon that story is not going to be fun to read because it is going to be the same old story.
"You are going to be beating a dead horse," he said.
Marbury, 31, was the face of the Knicks under Isiah Thomas, but D'Antoni has been lukewarm, at best, toward Marbury since training camp. So why keep the former All-Star, who has been a distraction in the past, on the team?
"It is a lot of money," D'Antoni said. "He has a contract, rightly so. If somebody gets hurt, we might need him. Why not? Steph has been great. He is part of the team. We are trying to do what is best for the Knicks."
Walsh said the case is "closed" on the Marbury controversy. Walsh said that he leaves playing-time decisions to his coaches and does not interfere. Still, why keep Marbury on the team if there are no plans to play him?
"He is a good player," Walsh said.
When members of the media were allowed into practice Tuesday, Marbury rode a stationary bike alongside the injured Eddy Curry. Marbury did not participate in the Knicks' drills but was involved in the team's post-practice huddle.
Marbury, who does not have an agent, will be a free agent at the end of the season.
"I don't know what the future holds," said Marbury, who has averaged nearly 20 points and eight assists per game for his career. "All I can do is sit still, be obedient and watch and learn from the situation."
Marbury has seen a lot of turmoil since he has been a Knick. Last season began in the wake of his sensational testimony in the Thomas sexual-harassment civil suit.
Before that, Marbury feuded with Larry Brown. Brown returns to Madison Square Garden as the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.
"Looking back at the last two years, I kind of liked Larry Brown," Marbury said with a laugh. "I kind of liked Larry Brown. I'm like, 'Man, I wish this guy was here to drill me now.'"
Andrew Marchand is the managing editor of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York.
Looking back at the last two years, I kind of liked Larry Brown. I kind of liked Larry Brown. I'm like, 'Man, I wish this guy was here to drill me now.'
-- Stephon Marbury