View Full Version : Stephon Marbury blackmails his way into the starting lineup

11-15-2007, 03:51 AM
I know this discussion is going on somewhere else, but I think this deserves its own thread. This is just so intense.

taken from Chicago Sun Times at http://www.suntimes.com/sports/couch/652010,CST-SPT-greg15.article

Way too much (stuff)

Battle of public opinion is on, but it's just about impossible to side with either Isiah or Starbury

November 15, 2007
BY GREG COUCH (gcouch@suntimes.com) Sun-Times Columnist

So Stephon Marbury, Starbury, selfishly walked out on his team. He went home after getting into an argument about playing time with his coach, Isiah Thomas. It eventually, reportedly, turned into a fist fight on an airplane. And then Marbury tried something new: blackmail to keep his starting job:

''[He] has to start me,'' he said, according to the New York Daily News. ''I've got so much [stuff] on Isiah, and he knows it. He thinks he can [get] me. But I'll [get] him first.''

And do you know what's the most amazing part of this story?

Isiah Thomas manages to keep his job. How?

As the New York Knicks team president, he has built a loser, bringing in Starbury and making a career me-me guy the face of the franchise. As a coach, he hasn't won one playoff game. As a human being, well, a jury awarded a former Knicks employee $11.6 million in a sexual harassment case against him.

Yet there he was, coaching the Knicks on Wednesday night against the L.A. Clippers. How does he do it? I have a theory: Thomas has so much (stuff) on Knicks owner Jim Dolan that he keeps his job. It has to be something like that.

Thomas was once known as the ideal American story. He was a young man with a warm smile who overcame Chicago's meanest streets, thanks in part to a loving mother who used a shotgun to scare away gang members from her baby. He made a huge success of himself, all the while keeping his sweet and upbeat demeanor, his innocence, his ...

Hah! I almost got through that with a straight face. Did any of that really happen? Whatever. Thomas is just a simple con man now.

I don't even believe the big smile anymore.

We already knew all of this weird stuff was possible from Marbury. It's sort of his thing. So, as comically absurd as all of this is from the last two days, it isn't the least bit surprising coming from him.

Lack of 'intelligent management'

I shouldn't make Dolan look like an innocent dupe in all of this. He has been offering up huge buyouts of people he has brought in for years. Now, Starbury is owed $42million, and another buyout is surely possible. The Knicks have surpassed the Blackhawks as the worst-run team in all of sports.

''They're not a model of intelligent management,'' NBA commissioner David Stern said about the Knicks.
But this is about Thomas. This Marbury flap is his latest con. It's just that Starbury's self-obsession blew it up into something bigger than he ever expected.

It's going to be a close call over who wins the battle of public opinion.

Thomas is failing, and he needed a fall guy. Starbury was the perfect choice, as everyone already knows what a rotten teammate he is.

On top of that, Marbury gave testimony in Thomas' sexual-harassment trial that both hurt Thomas' case and made the Knicks look bad. Marbury said he'd had sex with a Knicks intern in a parked truck outside of a strip club.

So sticking it to him had just a little extra bonus to it.

Thomas decided to take Marbury, one of the league's big talents, out of the starting lineup. The plan was to
cut down his role, and he told Marbury on the flight to the Phoenix game. That's where the fight took place, according to the Bergen Record.

Then, rather than playing the game, Marbury took another flight back home, text-messaging reporters that his absence was excused. Apparently, it wasn't. He was fined just under $200,000 Wednesday for missing the game and a practice. Then, he flew to L.A. to rejoin the team.

A question of survival

In normal times, it would be easy to assume that Marbury was a flake here, and Thomas the victim. But even if that's true, Thomas is the one who brought Marbury to New York in the first place.
And Thomas used up all his credibility chips on the sexual-harassment case, which included a story about his son saying that Thomas never talks to him.

When Marbury talks about having (stuff) on Isiah, do you believe that?

I do.

The assumption is that he's talking about the way Thomas treats women, and how much worse it is than we realize.

Well, it has always been strange how Thomas has sided Marbury, even against other teammates.

Understand that Marbury's teammates don't like him.

And now, Thomas says that Marbury ''is welcome back, and we want him as a member of this team. ... He and I go through this every November, and then a couple of weeks go by. And then we kiss and make up.''
Thomas is looking to welcome him back? Why? The (stuff)?

For Thomas to survive this con, he's going to need real skill. If he goes back to starting Marbury any time soon, then the other Knicks will lose all respect for Thomas.

In sports, walking out on your team is the ultimate selfish act. Also, if Thomas starts Marbury, then it's going to look like the blackmail worked, and that Marbury is running the team.

I know that most people are seeing this as a Marbury story. But come on. How does Isiah do it? Sad as it is, this American dream is apparently full of (stuff).

wow. I just can't believe how incredibly F'ed up things are for the Knicks. I've lost count. I don't know who I have the least respect for: Marbury, Isiah, or Dolan.

11-15-2007, 09:39 AM

11-15-2007, 10:38 AM

11-15-2007, 03:47 PM
did you guys see that handshake? talk about scripted.

11-21-2007, 11:12 AM
Incredible is right. The players voting to NOT have Starbury on the team shocked me. My goodness what kind of cancer can he be. Obviously they didn't take kindly to him abandoning them.

3. Why does Isiah Thomas still have a job?

The Knicks have the highest payroll in the league. Thomas and the Knicks lost a sexual harassment lawsuit during the summer. Reports in New York indicated Thomas wanted to move Stephon Marbury from starter to the bench last week, but Marbury threatened to reveal unseemly information about Thomas.

What else could there possibly be?

Marbury then left the team for a game and when he returned, he was fined almost $200,000. According to reports in New York, Thomas then asked a player to poll the team to ask if they wanted Marbury back, and the players unanimously voted no.

So Thomas welcomed Marbury back, but at least did not start him.

It is obvious that Thomas is not in control of any aspect of the operation. Throughout his career, he has been a lightning rod for controversy. He was on two title teams and made the Hall of Fame, but has there ever been anyone who has been such equal parts success and catastrophe?