It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Stephon Marbury saga that he would show up and buy a courtside ticket for the Knicks-Lakers game at Staples Center Tuesday night. This is what Stephon-a-non-grata is all about: shining the spotlight on himself.
What did come as a surprise was a comment Marbury made to the New York beat reporter crew, which he of course knew would surround him and extract every last drop of drama and dysfunction it possibly could out of him. (Some by choice, some reluctantly. More on that later.)
When Marbury wasn't berating certain writers by name -- since I'm away from the daily Knicks soap opera, I have been replaced by Frank Isola of the Daily News and Alan Hahn of Newsday as his favorite target -- he did deliver a piece of news. Or at least a hint of a piece of news.
"Only thing I got to do is get free," Marbury said. "The team that I'm going to go to, I think a lot of people will be shocked."
"They currently have an open roster spot and a need for a backup guard," Hahn writes. "Marbury played with Suns coach Terry Porter in Minnesota and, quite frankly, the Steve Kerr-Robert Sarver duo would love nothing more than to take the player Mike D'Antoni exiled and make him an asset."
Marbury said being banished from the Knicks and not playing basketball anymore "has been great for me. ... I'm getting healthy. This is going to save two or three years of my career."
At one point, Marbury said, "I'm still earning my check by doing nothing." He even went so far as to say that he's told Hal Biagas, the NBA Players Association attorney representing him, to chill for a while. "I basically told him don't even worry about it," Marbury said. "Let them do what they're going to do and make a decision when they're ready to make a decision. ... I didn't create this, so I don't regret a thing. This is all their doing."
Meanwhile, overshadowed by all of this was a thrilling game between the Knicks and Lakers -- a 116-114 Los Angeles victory. It had everything ... the Lakers battling back from a 15-point halftime deficit despite several key players battling illness (including Pao Gasol, who was sent home due to strep throat), Kobe Bryant talking trash with Chris Rock, and of course, Marbury making himself the center of attention once again.