I could almost feel sorry for Stephon Marbury, if he hadn't exposed himself as a completely self involved fraud during his final days as a New York Knickerbocker. I know that even back in his Lincoln days, Marbury saw his path leading to Madison Square Garden.
There were certainly many obstacles in getting there, but I'm sure Marbury didn't envision the absolute debacle that was his tenure as a Knick and the great indignity he brought upon himself and his team towards the end of it.
The biggest challenge Stephon Marbury has always faced is Stephon Marbury. The description of him as a cancer within any given organization he has been a part of it has been tragically confirmed over his last five seasons with the Knicks.
There was a lot of hope riding on his acquisition and I think most of the fans in New York wanted to believe that his stints in New Jersey, Minnesota and Phoenix were flukes. Coincidental string of bad luck.
How could a player with such raw talent and promise be the centerpiece of despair and loss with three different franchises? Knicks fans wanted Stephon to succeed on their stage and make them forget all about his past failures and the Knicks recent ones.
MSG was where he always wanted to be and New York fans accommodated Marbury with support, praise and great patience.
The thing about cancer is that no matter how much you try to destroy it, there exists the possibility that it will re-emerge, stronger and more resistant than its first incarnation.
Stephon Marbury's shortcomings as a person gradually wore on the patience of fans who were so willing to support him when he rode into town on a white horse to save a franchise on life support. Isiah Thomas and James Dolan were too blind to diagnose the Starbury cancer before it had already metastasized.
Thomas was too awestruck by his own ego and Dolan was too awestruck by Thomas. Although serving in some capacity as a phantom adviser, Thomas is pretty much gone. Larry Brown is gone. Don Chaney is gone. None of them were able to control Marbury.
Now Marbury is gone.
About the only thing that Stephon Marbury has done right since leaving the Georgia Institute of Technology is join the Boston Celtics. No longer considered a player around whom a team can build a championship, the best Marbury can do is sign with a team like the Celtics and surround himself with legitimate champions.
Marbury may very well ride the Celtics all the way to his first championship. But he will likely do so by riding the pine more than he'll be running the floor.
The Celtics benefit from smart management and they will keep a close eye on Marbury. They will not allow Starbury to taint a run at another Celtics dynasty.
The role of the bench warmer is one that Marbury should now be intimately familiar with. His refusal to play for the Knicks in the final few months of his career in New York ranks as one of the most appalling acts of self absorption committed by an athlete.
For a great player, it might have been a permanent stain on their legacy; for Marbury, it was par for the course. Classic Starbury in inaction. Gifted athlete, wasted talent. The Knicks loss is now the Celtics troublesome gain.
If Boston is smart, they will keep this quote in mind:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” - Albert Einstein