The banished Stephon Marbury acknowledged for the first time yesterday he has a verbal commitment from the Celtics - and accused the Knicks of not accepting his latest buyout offer because they don't want him winning a championship in Boston.
A frustrated Marbury said the Knicks New York Knicks were playing "kids games," adding "It's got to be personal."
In an hourlong interview with The Post, Marbury also said another NBA team has made an overture toward him. Miami is known to have expressed interest.
A few quick thoughts on this:
- I wondered how this could not be considered tampering, but someone in the comments pointed out that the Knicks gave him permission to talk to other teams.
- Amazing how much attention this guy is getting for not having played a game. I can see how some would worry about him becoming a distraction on the team. Now players and coaches will have to answer questions about him again and he's still not a free agent. Somewhere Marc Spears is pulling his hair out.
- Steph seems to be missing the point here (no big surprise there). Donnie has zero motivation to buy him out for $1M. There is still a chance he could trade Steph's expiring contract to a team with contracts that end in 2010. The chances of that happening are small, but there's still a chance. Why close a door needlessly? Donnie Walsh is not dumb. This isn't personal. It is business.
- I wouldn't be surprised to see Marbury on the team until after the trade deadline. Which means we'll have another 3 weeks of this rumor. When did we start talking about this? December? November?
More quotes after the break.
"I know I'll be able to sign with two teams," Marbury told The Post.
"The question to be asked to the Knicks is: Are they fearful for me playing for another Eastern Conference team? My thing is, they shouldn't be fearful. They're trying to get under the cap for 2010. They shouldn't be worried about me. You had guys saying I was a distraction, I'm a cancer. If I'm all those things, wouldn't you want me to go to another team?"
President Donnie Walsh may wait until after their final meeting with Boston, Feb. 6 at the Garden, though the teams could meet in the first round.