Different Bosses, Same Ole’ Drama

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: November 29, 2008

NEW YORK — For Knicks fans and faithful this must seem like a bad dream turned nightmare. The King, LeBron James came into town in his chariot and conquered all that was in sight with an easy-as-pie victory, 119-110 over the Knicks.

The final score wasn’t as indicative as the final score tells. The Knicks were actually trailing at one point during the game by 36 points. Usually with games like that, the Garden crowd would boo the team lustily.

But, with LeBron in town and as most New Yorkers who hope and pray that in the summer of 2010, ‘The King’ would come back to town — permanently, the venom was kept to a minimum.

Who knows maybe the Gotham Gobbling’s didn’t want to air their dirty laundry on the week of Thanksgiving and scare off The Chosen One (as he likes to call himself) before he has a chance to declare his dis-allegiance to the city of Cleveland.

One thing is for certain, the same circus type atmosphere that has been MSG for the past decade and some is still in full effect. That is one way NOT to attract a budding free agent, let alone LeBron himself.

It must be something in the fumes at 2 Penn Plaza that turns what seems to be ordinary folk into “something different” when they cross the George Washington Bridge.

It is well documented that the Knicks cleared cap space (by trading off, Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph) for the LeBron James run in 2010. So in the interim the squad will simply stink to high noon!

What a way to show respect to the fans after they had to endure losing season after losing season, losing atmosphere after losing atmosphere. The Knicks at the time of the trade had a positive record at this point in the season, for the first time in eons.

The fans under new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system had something to cheer about. The Knicks were winning and winning in a fun and stun way. They could have done this for as long as it lasted and the fans wouldn’t have minded it one bit. After all, they deserved that much.

The Stephon Marbury drama is now entering its fourth year in a row. The honeymoon lasted all of one year after his trade back home from the Phoenix Suns. Teammate after teammate for ends up not liking him for some reason.

Maybe it’s his personality or maybe it’s his shoot first and pass second style of play. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure teams have gotten a lot better once he left town.

That brings us to this current situation with the Knicks and Marbury-gate. President and general manager Donnie Walsh needs to make a decision on Marbury’s future. Whenever that decision is made however, it will be that many days too late.

There’s absolutely no real reason why Marbury is still with the team. The distraction is a setback as well as a flat out distraction especially when you consider all that has transpired as of late with the organization.

For one, Walsh and D’Antoni should have been on the VERY same page when it came to how they were going to treat and greet Marbury. There’s no way ONE should have wanted him and the OTHER didn’t.

The preseason was a tease that turned into an early season mess. Why did Coach D’Antoni even play Marbury the 20 or so minutes albeit with the second team if he was going to shut him down (DNP) when the season started and causing a fire-storm of epic proportion.

Walsh was put into a terrible predicament that Isiah Thomas started. But, in defense of Thomas, he had no idea this would back fire the way that it did. No one could’ve told Thomas that his deal to get Marbury back to New York wouldn’t work.

He and everyone else, media included thought it was a slam dunk.

However, the experiment didn’t work but the bad ingredient is still there. Something has to give. Because at some point the players will become all the more weary and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if fist fly.

Why would that happen?

Well, it’s already been documented that Quentin Richardson said that he didn’t consider Marbury as a teammate. Thus after Marbury was supposedly asked by Coach D’Antoni to play in a game against the Detroit Piston’s to which Marbury refused.

This after Marbury refused to play against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Marbury feels as if he’s being jerked around by D’Antoni and doesn’t trust him; even going so far as to say, “I wouldn’t trust him to walk my dog across the street.”

D’Antoni feels as if the Knicks are better off without Marbury. And rumor has it, he doesn’t even like Marbury. So, why after the Knicks made all of those trades would D’Antoni even ask him to play if he never wanted him around?

This goes to show that this mess needs to stop. Either the Knicks ought to just buy Marbury out of his contract or pay him (ala the Indiana Pacers and Jamaal Tinsley) and tell him to stay away.

Why have him around the team in the first place if you’re trying to move on without him? Did Marbury do anything to the organization to deserve this? Some may feel that he’s a scapegoat to what transpired with the Anucha Brown Sanders fiasco and has drawn the ire of some of the higher ups that are looking for revenge in some way.

Some may say that it’s just Marbury being Marbury.

Whatever it is, it needs to be resolved.