Saturday , Nov , 01 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Who can comeback: Stephon Marbury or Steve Francis?

Of course, I’m referring to fallen stars Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis, both of whom have seen better days. Their run as the game’s elite scoring point guards is over and done with. Marbury and Francis still have supporters. When they become available, a few GMs will investigate and offer a veteran’s minimum contract. There is no risk and lots of reward if they regain their old form …


Who can comeback: Stephon Marbury or Steve Francis?Each week, HoopsVibe the Blog will drop a player comparison for fans to weigh in on. We call it head-to-head … 

I remember New York showed unconditional love. As a teenager, running on Coney Island’s beach, he was anointed The Five Boroughs’s next great point guard. Even after failing in Minnesota, New Jersey, and Phoenix, he was welcomed back.

But the prodigal son is dead, murdered by his hometown. Has been for years. This week, I watched him collect his first DNP-coach’s decision in a Knick uniform. Now he is relegated to street clothes with zero chance of playing. A divorce/buyout is coming.

Meanwhile, down south, his Skip’ is MIA. And nobody cares. The Franchise is an afterthought, lost in the talk of how T-Mac, Yao, and Ron-Ron will gel in Houston.

Of course, I’m referring to fallen stars Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis, both of whom have seen better days. Their run as the game’s elite scoring point guards are over and done with.

Marbury and Francis still have supporters. When they become available, GMs will investigate and a few suits will tender a veteran’s minimum contract. There is no risk and all reward if they regain their old form.

In this edition of head-to-head, HoopsVibe The Blog is pitting Starbury against The Franchise, so we can determine who has the most to offer teams at this late stage of their career. As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at us in the comment box with thoughts.

What Marbury currently offers …

All summer, we heard stories of him running the Hollywood hills and reporting to camp below 200 pounds –his lightest weight in years. And things looked fine in pre-season. In roughly twenty minutes of work, he averaged around eight points per game as a wing.

But Marbury is part punch line, part punching bag. The youtube clips and negative press have made him a walking joke. And his recent play has also made him the scapegoat for fans. End result: his trademark, “I’m-the-best-point-guard-in-the-league” confidence is long gone.

What Francis currently offers …

His physical conditioning is a question mark. Francis hasn’t played close to a full season since 2004-05. Last year, with Houston, he averaged just 6 points in over 10 games. And Francis, while under contract for another year with the Rockets, hasn’t yet suited up in the regular season or pre-season. Rumour has it he is still rehabbing injuries from last year.

The former second overall pick is in a better headspace than Marbury. He seems to have found peace since returning to Houston. For instance, last year, he never complained about racking up a string of DNPs-coaches decision. Such maturity was unimaginable a few years back.

The Call: Francis, if he gets healthy (I think Marbury has something left, but needs to get his mind right). Perhaps, the Maryland alum can eventually serve as a second-unit energy player. He always had the ability to change tempo and, as a reserve, he wouldn’t be competing with primary options for shots.

Would you take a healthy Francis over Marbury? Do either having anything left? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts. Click here for more of HoopsVibe The Blog and this photo is a courtesy of jeff balke.