The Knicks have decided that Stephon Marbury will no longer be with the team starting Friday, a person familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com. It has not been decided whether Marbury will be suspended without pay or simply told to stay home until the situation is resolved. The NBA Players Association, which is representing Marbury in his buyout talks, did not respond to a request for a comment.
UPDATED 10:52 pm. EST: Though the resolution puts a symbolic end to Marbury's disappointing, and in the end, embarrassing run with the Knicks, logistical and legal hurdles remain. At issue will be whether Marbury's recent communication with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni constituted insubordination -- and more importantly, a contractual breach.
Asked if Marbury and his legal representatives agreed to his banishment -- either by suspension or unofficial dismissal -- the person familiar with the negotations said, "He doesn't have a say. ... He won't be back, starting Friday."
Besides the legal and financial details of Marbury's eventual release, all that is left to be decided is what team would be willing to take a chance on Marbury's talent -- he still has something left and is in great shape for someone who hasn't played a game this season -- while also being able to absorb his weirdness. Miami, Dallas, and Golden State (remember Stephen Jackson guaranteeing the Warriors would sign Marbury if the Knicks released him?) are three teams that have expressed some level of interest. Another one seldom mentioned is the Celtics, who could be willing to take a chance, a person with ties to Marbury said Thursday. The roster spot could come from a Marbury suppporter, 39-year-old Sam Cassell, a key reserve during the Celtics' championship run last season who does not have a guaranteed contract. Cassell hasn't played yet this season and is being kept around in a mentoring role.