Time to "Bury" This Issue Once and for All: Knicks Must Drop Stephon Marbury

Adam FierCorrespondent INovember 1, 2008

Enough is enough.

I'm not as anti-Stephon Marbury as your average Knicks fan, and I even argued a week ago he should have been starting over Chris Duhon.

However, after watching recent events transpire, I think I speak on behalf of Knicks fan when I say the time has come, once and for all, to cut Marbury loose, by any means necessary.

James Dolan won't like it, but for the good of the team he needs to swallow his pride and give Marbury his release.

Look at it this way: Marbury has stated he intends to get every penny he's owed this season. So the $21.9 million price tag is non-negotiable, as far as he's concerned.

That's fine. Release him, wish him well (unlikely to happen) and let him play elsewhere.  Let him play in Miami or Denver, two teams that likely won't have any impact on the Knicks playoff chances this season, because the only team that will be preventing them from getting back into the postseason will be themselves.

This Marbury situation is becoming a bigger and bigger distraction to coach Mike D'Antoni and his players, regardless of what you hear them say.

If you release Marbury, the locker room will be that much friendlier, and, hey, maybe they go out and bring Patrick Ewing Jr. back to fill Steph's spot.

D'Antoni has stated that he wants to move forward and rebuild with the younger players, which is why Mardy Collins got opening-night minutes while Marbury was relegated to the end of the bench.

Last night, in the Knicks' embarrassing blowout loss in Philadelphia, Marbury didn't dress and was inactive, a clear sign the end is hopefully near for his Knicks tenure.

To his credit, Marbury has said all the right things, and D'Antoni has repeatedly stated the guard has done nothing wrong and it's simply a matter of looking forward to the future as opposed to playing to just win now.

The sad part to all of this is the Knicks have far larger issues, as indicated by their nightmarish performance on Halloween night during their near 30-point loss to the Sixers.

The team has no inside presence defensively, and on nights when the offense struggles, you can expect more lopsided losses like last night unless this team figures out a way to play some defense.

While that problem won't be fixed overnight, the Marbury issue has a remedy waiting if Dolan is able to show the type of fortitude his team certainly failed to display last night.

Let Marbury go, move on, and get the focus entirely back where it needs to be, which is what happens on the basketball court, not what's going on with players who won't be seeing it anytime soon.