Friday , Aug , 24 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Second Michael Vick Comment Shows Brand Starbury Overshadowing New York Knick Stephon Marbury

My concern: Marbury’s off-court celebrity is overshadowing his on-court play. Hoop fans hear about his shoe line. Hoop fans hear about his acts of charity and kindness. Hoop fans hear about his love for . Hoop fans hear about his bizarre appearance on a local New York television show. And hoop fans hear about his side-gig as host of Stars on Stars. Unfortunately, we hear less-and-less about Starbury the basketball player …

The New York Post updates Marbury’s comments Michael Vick:

Stephon Marbury told The Post this morning he feels he’s been misrepresented as a dogfighting supporter and went on to clarify his statements in regards to defending Michael Vick.

Marbury said he detests dogfighting, feels Vick is wrong but forgives him and feels he should play again after serving time.

"I don’t like it at all," Marbury told The Post. "I don’t think he’s right. He’s 100 percent wrong. But this dude is trying to ask for forgiveness and everyone’s turning their heads on a man trying to ask for forgiveness. The way it’s going about in the newspapers and TV, it’s ridiculous."

Marbury said during his sneaker tour, "from what i hear, dogfighting was a sport," and defended Vick.

"I never said dogfighting was a sport," Marbury clarified. "I said "From what I hear, dogfighting was a sport." They’re editing me on TV. Michael Vick did not invent dogfighting."

Marbury has made several donations this summer and his discount sneaker line has received national attention. He is concerned young kids will get the wrong message.

"It’s the ESPN Michael Vick torture channel," Marbury told The Post. "Every day it’s Michael Vick. He did something that’s bad. We know he’s wrong. But are we going to crucify this guy, tear his whole life down? Last year we were holding him up on this big pedestal, the best quarterback ever, the biggest contract in football history. Now he did something wrong."

"Everyone has skeletons in their closet," Marbury added. "He committed a sin. Everybody commits sins. We have to forgive. No one sin is greater than the other. I got a DUI for drinking and driving. I did something wrong, asked for forgiveness from God. I learned from my mistakes. All I’m saying, give this guy another chance."

"He should be allowed to play football after he is punished. He deserves a second chance."

Marbury added, "And let me ask: who has the list to decide which animals will live and die. People hunt for sport. I don’t feel any animal should be allowed to die. We’re all God’s creation.”

Marbury, himself, released this statement to the press on Thursday afternoon:

It is not uncommon for my comments to be misconstrued in the media but I feel compelled to put my recent comments in the right context. What Michael Vick did was wrong and he has admitted his guilt. He should be punished. However, he should be given a second chance as others have received for more serious crimes. There is no list for which animals should be killed and which shouldn’t. As a spiritual being, I respect GOD’s divine order. We’re all created by GOD and animals are GOD’s creatures as well. I love animals and none of them should be harmed. However, we don’t react the same when other animals are being killed for sport or the sake of human pleasure. Should we as a society stop wearing fur coats and eating meat or hold those accountable who are responsible for the demise of those animals? In order to receive forgiveness we must all forgive inorder for healing to take place. As an athlete and celebrity, I realize we are convenient targets for scrutiny, often unfairly. When I received a DUI, I learned from the mistake and vowed never to do it again. I came out a better person as a result. I’m sure he will learn from this mistake and become a better man. My family’s thoughts and prayers go out to him and all of those impacted by this unfortunate situation.”

My Quick Take: Yesterday, I covered Stephon Marbury’s initial comments on the Vick situation. He felt the television stations edited his words, so to be fair I included his entire statement in this post.

I mentioned this before. Marbury has the right to have an opinion. The star point guard is free to believe and say what he wants. His most recent statement on Vick seems much more even-keel and appropriate.

My concern: Marbury’s off-court celebrity is overshadowing his on-court play.  Hoop fans hear about his shoe line. Hoop fans hear about his acts of charity and kindness. Hoop fans hear about his love for Italy. Hoop fans hear about his bizarre appearance on a local New York television show. And hoop fans hear about his side-gig as host of Stars on Stars.

Unfortunately, we hear very little about Starbury the basketball player. Where is the self-assured star who once declared himself the NBA’s best point guard?

In the past, when Marbury was just a basketball player, he had no problem bragging about his play. His New York moxie and swagger would shine through like the ice he rocked on so many Slam Magazine covers. I miss that guy. I bet the Knicks miss that guy, too.

Nobody is knocking his low-cost shoe-line or donations to charity. I respect that tremendously. I respect his views on materialism and Europe. And I respect that he has interests outside of basketball. But I also want to be able to respect him as twenty million dollar table-setter next season.

Starbury the brand has become more important than Starbury the point guard. This needs to change-and soon.

What do you think of Marbury’s off-court headlines? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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