Thursday , Nov , 27 , 2008 J.N.

Stephon Marbury vs. Mike D’Antoni: Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Stephon Marbury vs. Mike D'Antoni: Who's right? Who's wrong?Happy Thanksgiving! Yes, it’s that time of year to celebrate eating Turducken while discussing future bailout plans.

I think the self-proclaimed Starbury and the motley crew Knicks are hoping for a miraculous bailout from each other. I’m pretty sure they’re not wishing each other a Happy Thanksgiving. What a mess. Where to start?

Recently, teammate Quentin Richardson publically ripped Marbury:

"He hasn’t played with us all year," Richardson said. "Regardless of what you have going on with the organization or what you have going on with your coach or whatever — you’re not going to allow your teammates to be left out there the way we were basically being left out there." "This is directed at us regardless if you’re trying to stick it to whoever you’re trying to stick it to," Richardson said of Marbury’s refusal to play. "At the end of the day we’re shorthanded, people are hurt. "Once again, I don’t pay attention to [Stephon] because I don’t look at him as a teammate anyway."

Word to Richardson: You’re in no position to say anything. You haven’t done anything since your Clipper days. You’re nothing but a Larry Hughes-like chucker. Why didn’t you say anything when Marbury was perfectly healthy and D’Antoni activated an injured Eddy Curry so he could have a minimum number of players on the roster? Get your game right (which I doubt) before you say anything. If you don’t view him as a teammate then you don’t need him. Be a man and tell him in person. Text, email, phone call, whatever. Tell him privately. Why bitch when you said that you don’t see him as a teammate? Therefore, you’re not seeing this dude on the court.

“He hasn’t played with us all year.”

Geez, Quentin. I wonder why. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Mike D’Antoni telling him to sit his ass down before the first game of the regular season. Didn’t the Knicks tell him that they didn’t need him anymore for the present and future? So why are people hating on Marbury?

I’ll touch on a subject that has been sensitive to some people lately. And that subject is called “professionalism.” 9 out of 10, many people expect the lone worker to act professional, which means roughly “shut up and do your job because you’re getting paid.” I’ve been through this in past experiences, and quite frankly, I’ve bitten the bullet and done my job. Sometimes enough is enough. A person can’t take it every single time regardless of pay.

Think about it this way. Try not to think about Steph in this situation. This is merely an “in general” type of deal: Why is the lone worker expected to be professional when the organization is not expected to? They just dragged your name through mud and painted you as the villain, when in reality, you might have said some things to other workers, but you still completed the job. You still got the job done. Management will only focus on what you said instead of focusing on the job you completed.

To be fair, an anonymous snarky person will say “They’re entitled to treat you like shit because they paid you. Take it in stride. Act professional.”

Oh really?

Just because money is involved, this makes it more justified to treat people like shit? Oh I see why people just want to work for you!

Instead Marbury doesn’t have to act “professional” because the situation doesn’t warrant it. I’m not a Marbury apologist, but they have a coach and new GM who claimed that you have a clean state, fresh start. Come to camp in better shape than anyone else on this team and then play him the whole pre-season. Then you just bench him the first game and every other game thereafter? I can’t blame Steph for taking the Twisted Sister state of mind.

We’re not gonna take it.

And the Knicks shall reserve that same thought, too. They’re not putting it to good use though.

There comes a moment where both parties have to part. Marbury has presented this opportunity to Knicks management. It was simple.

Pay him out.

Steph has gone on record with this.

"There wouldn’t be no negotiation," Marbury said. "They’re going to give me all my money. … If they want to waive me and give me all my money, fine."

There you have it. He knows what time it is. He wants out. The ball is now on their court. There is absolutely no reason in dragging this soap opera out any further. What are you stiffs waiting for?

Currently they chose not to pay out his contract for whatever reason I don’t know. “But but but ummmm…we don’t have the money. His contract is expensive.” That’s odd. Knicks management has been flushing down money since Isiah Thomas took over. Why is this any different? This is where Donnie Walsh messed up. From his years of experience he should already know that it’s worth paying the money for peace of mind; there wouldn’t be any distractions. Of course Marbury wants 100% bailout. I would, too. Have you seen the economy lately?

Marbury fan or not, he has already put in his 2 week notice with what he said. When anyone puts in their 2 weeks, they do come to work on time, which is what Steph has done. They just don’t do the work while they’re there until it’s time to go. D’Antoni messed it up even more when he told him, “The minutes are there IF YOU’D LIKE.” He gave the employee an option TO NOT PLAY. Marbury liked that option and took it. He gets paid no matter what.

Be honest. You’d do the same.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

In my eyes, both parties are wrong, but not equally. 65 on management, 35 on Steph.

Marbury should have done a one game sit out (or maybe even 2 for good measure) and that’s that. He probably should have played in the next game soon after; pull a Robert Horry and coast through the games. Simple. Easy. Sprinkle in some fake effort if you want.

On the flip side, D’Antoni messed up for jerking Marbury around. This guy worked his ass off to get in the best shape of his life. He was ready to go; played all preseason. At least give him some meaningful bench minutes, but alas, D’Antoni changed his mind and essentially said “Fuck it. No playing time for you. We’re going in a different direction.” D’Antoni and Walsh should have paid him off to dead the drama before the season started. That’s why D’Antoni and Walsh are mostly at fault hence the higher number I gave them.

After all that hard work, that’s what he gets? I can’t fault Steph. Even the most hardcore Starbury haters can relate….maybe…

If I was in Marbury’s cheaply made shoes, I would have done the same thing.

Please stay focused. Voice your opinion on this matter.