Stephon Marbury did not get the divorce he wants, but he and the New York Knicks agreed to a separation.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Stephon Marbury did not get the divorce he wants, but he and the New York Knicks agreed to a separation.
Marbury was ordered Monday to stay away from the Knicks while the team looks for a solution to its $21 million problem — one that has lingered since the preseason and exploded last week when the team suspended him for refusing to play and he retaliated with a series of inflammatory remarks about coach Mike D’Antoni.
Marbury’s future was “not resolved” during a meeting with team president Donnie Walsh at the Knicks’ practice facility, according to the players’ association attorney representing him. The sides will continue to talk, but Marbury won’t be around in the meantime.
“After meeting with Stephon and his representative this afternoon, we have directed Stephon not to participate in practice or attend games until further notice,” Walsh said in a statement. “We want to continue to meet with him to discuss a long-term resolution.”
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Marbury will earn about $21 million this season in the final year of his contract and is adamant that he won’t give much of it up in a buyout. However, that salary makes him nearly impossible to trade, and the Knicks are reluctant to give him all his money to leave.
Walsh’s decision to ban Marbury comes on the heels of the latest trouble in his stormy Knicks career. The Knicks suspended the New York native one game and penalized him nearly $400,000 last week for what they claimed was his refusal of D’Antoni’s request to come off the inactive list and play in a game at Detroit last Wednesday.
Marbury then blasted the coach in a pair of stories in the New York Post, saying he didn’t trust D’Antoni and adding that “the marriage is over.”
Walsh had little choice but to suspend Marbury after he lashed out at coaches and teammates Monday.
“I sat there for three weeks and didn’t say one word,” Marbury told The Post. “I didn’t hear one of my teammates say, ‘Why isn’t Stephon Marbury playing? This is a good system for him, even to play with the second unit and bring more firepower.’
“When things got bad and then worse, guys like Quentin Richardson say, ‘I don’t consider him a teammate. He let his teammates out to dry.’ He didn’t care I was his teammate when I was banished. They left me out for dead. It’s like we’re in a foxhole and I’m facing the other way. If I got shot in the head, at least you want to get shot by the enemy. I got shot in the head by my own guys in my foxhole. And they didn’t even give me an honorable death.”
Marbury has been on the inactive list most of the season. The former All-Star, who previously feuded with coaches Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas, kept quiet until the Knicks suspended him after the second time he declined an opportunity to play.
“Mike [D’Antoni] had no intentions of me playing basketball here,” Marbury said. “He gave me straight disrespect. It was beyond disrespect. He put in [Danilo] Gallinari, whose back is messed up and [who] didn’t participate at all in training camp ahead of me [in the season opener]. … That’s saying, ‘I’m letting you have it right now.’ He was sticking it to me.”
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