Monday, January 26, 2009
Updated: January 27, 4:08 PM ET
Report: Celts made no vow to Marbury
ESPN.com news services
Stephon Marbury has said the Boston Celtics expressed a firm commitment to sign the exiled New York Knicks point guard, according to Monday's editions of the New York Post.
But a source for the Boston Herald claimed otherwise.
Marbury's comments confirmed an ESPN.com report on Jan. 1 that Celtics management is intent on signing him if he can reach a buyout agreement with the Knicks.
But according to a story posted on the Boston newspaper's Web site Monday afternoon, citing a source close to the situation, the Celtics have "absolutely no verbal commitment" with Marbury -- despite the two sides having talked, and in spite of Boston's interest in adding him given ideal conditions.
Marbury wouldn't record significant playing time in any circumstance, the source told the Herald.
According to the Post, Marbury complained the Knicks have not agreed to buy out his contract because they don't want him contributing to a championship run with the Celtics.
Marbury told the Post the Knicks were playing "kids games," and "It's got to be personal."
"The question to be asked to the Knicks is: Are they fearful for me playing for another Eastern Conference team?" Marbury said, according to the paper. "My thing is, they shouldn't be fearful. They're trying to get under the cap for 2010. They shouldn't be worried about me."
The Knicks play the Celtics for the fourth and last time this season in New York on Feb. 6.
"You had guys saying I was a distraction, I'm a cancer," Marbury said. "If I'm all those things, wouldn't you want me to go to another team?"
Marbury, in his last year of a contract that pays him $21 million this season, told the Post another NBA team has also expressed interest in signing him upon release. According to the paper, the Miami Heat have Marbury in their sights.
"I know I'll be able to sign with two teams," Marbury told the Post.
A brief flirtation between Marbury and the Greek team Olympiacos appeared to end Friday, a day after the team contacted the Knicks as part of its efforts to find a replacement for the injured American Josh Childress, sources told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan.
"It shouldn't matter that I go to Boston if you're the eighth seed and Boston is in the front," Marbury told the Post. "It can't be about money. The Knicks got plenty of it. It's got to be personal. If it's personal, then how is business being done there?"