By Dave McMenamin, NBA.com
Posted Jan 17 2009 2:15AM
LOS ANGELES -- In the latest bit of posturing by Knicks banished guard Stephon Marbury, the former All-Star is painting his team in the type of light usually reserved for the pinstripe-wearing baseball team in the Big Apple: as an evil empire.
"It's a billion-dollar company against me, basically, that's what it is," Marbury said in the tunnel at halftime of the Lakers-Magic game at Staples Center. "I'm standing my ground after I made an offer to them. For me, what am I going to do against a billion-dollar company? I can't beat a billion-dollar company so I got to stand still and just wait."
Marbury, attending his third NBA game as a spectator since being told to leave the team on Dec. 1, sat down in a courtside seat across from the Lakers bench after the start of the second quarter and started to chat with actor Denzel Washington.
While Washington starred in He Got Game with Ray Allen, the player who was traded for Allen back on Draft day in 1996 broke into a sharp-tongued rant when asked about the state of his future with the Knicks.
He Got Beef.
"I offer you a million dollars and you want three million and you're the billion-dollar company?" Marbury said of the buy-out negotiations that were suspended last month. "I just don't get it, what is it really about? If it's personal, say it's personal."
Marbury insists he never had a chance after Mike D'Antoni took over for Isiah Thomas as head coach this season.
"For me personally, I came in ready to do whatever they asked me to do," Marbury said. "I was willing to come off the bench and [D'Antoni] said that he didn't want Chris Duhon looking over his shoulders. I couldn't win. I was in a no-win situation."
Marbury hasn't played in a regular-season game in more than a year, dating back to Jan. 11, 2008, when he had 13 points and eights assists in 38 minutes in a loss to the Raptors.
The 6-foot-2 guard who turns 32-years-old in February said he is training in L.A. and has taken up hiking to stay in shape. Asked if he could suit up if called upon today, Marbury said: "I can play. My timing won't be right, but I can go out there and I can play."
The last two games Marbury attended -- Dec. 16 in L.A. when the Lakers played the Knicks and Jan. 2 in Minnesota when the Timberwolves played the Warriors -- seemed to make more sense as New York still technically is his team, and Minnesota is where he started his career and has Marbury's cousin, Sebastian Telfair, playing.
But what business did Marbury have coming to see the Lakers against the Magic? What can we make of that?
"[I'm] just watching the games," Marbury said. "I mean you love the game so much when you're not playing you want to be around it, smell the arena, just be in the atmosphere, that's all."
That's not quite all. Marbury included the Lakers as a team he would like to play for, along with Miami and Boston, if his contract dispute can be resolved with Knicks GM Donnie Walsh.
"I want to play some place where I'm going to win. I'm talking about playing with a team that everyone is on the same page. There's so many different things going on in New York that it's just time to move on. It's not anything directed towards them, it's just time to move on."
Marbury said he wasn't surprised when Kevin Garnett told reporters back on Jan. 5 that he wouldn't be opposed to playing with his former Wolves running mate.
"I've never did anything to Kevin for him to feel anything other than the way how he's feeling," Marbury said. "When I left [things] off with Kevin, we basically left off with terms of me going in another direction and I wanted to try to do something elsewhere.
"When I left Minnesota, it wasn't about basketball. It was solely on, I couldn't give seven more years of my life to playing in Minnesota. It was coldddddddd."
Marbury wouldn't speculate as to whether or not he and the Knicks could reach a resolution, saying, "it's not up to me to judge if it's going to happen or not. I'm just basically waiting."
"For them, they said they didn't want me, they should just let me go. Just pay me my money, let me go and end the distraction."
Otherwise, Marbury will continue to try to stay close to basketball and, who knows, "the distraction" could be coming to an NBA arena near you.
|Blazers vs. Grizzlies Game 3|
Marc Gasol scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to a 3-0 series lead versus the Blazers, 115-109.
|Grizzlies on Game 3 Victory|
David Joerger and Marc Gasol speak following a game 3 win over the Trail Blazers.
|Trail Blazers on Game 3 Loss|
Terry Stotts and Nicolas Batum address the media following a game 3 loss to the Grizzlies.
|April 25: Top 10|
Here are your top 10 plays form Saturday night's action around the NBA.
|April 25: Daily Zap|
Get a quick recap of all 4 games from Saturday night's playoff action around the league.