Wednesday , Jun , 24 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Fall of The Matrix: Shawn Marion to only get MLE from Toronto Raptors

Less than two years ago, Shawn Marion was an instrumental cog in the Phoenix Suns’ wheel. ‘Seven Seconds To Shoot’ recorded several fifty-plus win seasons in part because of the forward’s defensive prowess, ability to run, and out-rebound larger opponents. There were perks for being Steve Nash’s star sidekick: Stuart Scott showed love on ESPN SportsCenter, NBA coaches voted him an All-Star, and management made him the highest paid player in franchise history by agreeing to a ‘max’ contract …


Fall of The Matrix: Shawn Marion to only get MLE from Toronto RaptorsI can’t believe how fast The Matrix has fallen. 

Less than two years ago, Shawn Marion was an instrumental cog in the Phoenix Suns’ wheel. ‘Seven Seconds To Shoot’ recorded several fifty-plus win seasons in part because of the forward’s defensive prowess, ability to run, and out-rebound larger opponents.

There were perks for being Steve Nash’s star sidekick: Stuart Scott showed love on ESPN SportsCenter, NBA coaches voted him an All-Star, and management made him the highest paid player in franchise history by agreeing to a ‘max’ contract.

High profile. League-wide recognition. And money. Sounds good, right?

Well, not exactly. None of this satisfied Marion, who, after years of playing second fiddle to Nash and forward Amare Stoudemire, requested and then received a trade to the lottery-bound Miami Heat.

After finishing last year in Toronto, Marion has less profile and recognition. And with his contract set to expire in July, he’ll soon make less money, too. Michael Grange, a fine writer for The Globe and Mail, recently reported that the forward will have to take a 10 million dollar pay cut and should only get just above the Mid Level Exception on the open market.

“They also have had positive feedback from Marion about the possibility of him returning to play small forward.

With a tight job market the Raptors are hopeful an offer in the range of three years for $21-million might be enough to keep him in Toronto.

“The indication is he wants to be here,” Colangelo said. “And the message we’ve given him is we’d like him back, he fits this roster and we’ll try to make it happen.”                                                                                  

Part of this is the economy. Owners, like you and me, are feeling the recession. There is less revenue coming in, so the salary cap must fall. Also, owner’s sports teams are often leveraged on outside businesses that are in a down cycle, which means they’re less inclined to pay players, especially a fading star like Marion.

However, Marion is mostly at fault because he wanted out of Phoenix even though the Suns were tailor made for his skill set. After all, Marion covered Nash’s mediocre athleticism and defensive shortcomings, while the classic table-setter hid his swing’s poor handles and inability to create his own shot.

While in Miami and Toronto, he got exposed. Marion never established chemistry with Heat franchise face Dwyane Wade and was sent north at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, life with a depleted and struggling Raptor squad wasn’t much better.

‘The Matrix’ has crashed. So has his worth. Perhaps a pay cut will serve as motivation for the rest of his career.

Is Marion to blame for his fall from superstar status? Get at us in the comment box below and come to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Adam and Lucy.