Thursday , Feb , 26 , 2009 Oly Sandor

A necessary evil: Why the Boston Celtics want Stephon Marbury

After much rumour, speculation, and innuendo, Stephon Marbury has been released by his hometown Knicks. Instead of leading Madison Square Garden to respectability, the guard is leaving with his reputation ruined and even more of owner James Dolan’s money in his pocket, courtesy of a buyout. He is 32, hasn’t seen the court since January of 2008, and is a free agent July 1st; so securing a final NBA contract depends on a successful two-month audition with his new team …


A necessary evil: Why the Boston Celtics want Stephon MarburyBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis … 

Their News: Not long after getting Mikki Moore signed yesterday, the Celtics were able to begin envisioning what Stephon Marbury would look like in their uniform, too.

After months of being embroiled in a soap opera, the Knicks worked out a buyout of Marbury’s $21 million contract yesterday. Two NBA sources said that once the two-time All-Star clears waivers – which is expected to be Friday morning – he will sign with the Celtics for a prorated veteran minimum of $1.3 million for the rest of the season. (HoopsVibe News)

Our Very Quick Analysis: New York’s prodigal son turned black sheep is out.

After much rumour, speculation, and innuendo, Stephon Marbury has been released by his hometown Knicks. Instead of leading Madison Square Garden to respectability, the guard is leaving with his reputation ruined and even more of owner James Dolan’s money in his pocket, courtesy of a final buyout.

He is 32, hasn’t seen the court since January of 2008, and is a free agent July 1st; so securing a final NBA contract depends on a successful two-month audition with his new team.

Marbury is motivated. And Boston, in need of a late season addition, seems prepared to roll the dice on the league’s most controversial player. Well, why? Why would GM Danny Ainge and the defending champions take a chance on a polarizing figure like Marbury?

The Celtics believe in the power of their culture. They have strong leaders: Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. Most importantly, Doc Rivers is on the sideline. The personable coach likely thinks he can be the one to get Marbury to buy into a team-first system.

They have some obvious holes. First, the green-and-white hasn’t replaced second-unit game changer James Posey, who signed last summer with New Orleans. Second, Eddie House is a back-up shooting guard in a point guard’s body. His ball handling is a liability. And finally, rivals like Cleveland and Los Angeles currently have momentum and a mental edge over Boston.

Enter Marbury.

When in shape and focused, the former All-Star can provide bench scoring, handle the rock, and run half-court sets. Under the right circumstances, Marbury could be the difference in a seven-game series. After striking out the at the trade deadline, Ainge knows he’s the club’s last chance at a pre-playoff upgrade.

(The Celtics also got a gifted orator: "My better ho". Anybody else remember the ‘we got youthier’ line?) 

Bottom line, Marbury’s pro-rated, one-year deal makes him expendable. If things sour in Boston, the prodigal son turned black sheep will once again be out. Only this time, even he knows, he’ll be out the NBA for good. 

Should Boston sign Marbury? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of lionelane.