Mike D'Antoni has a message for the fans chanting Stephon Marbury's name at Madison Square Garden (and this time it doesn't require lip reading): give it up, because it's not happening. As reported by Alan Hahn of Newsday, D'Antoni explained that Starbury is stuck in an all-or-nothing situation due to his stature:
"I don't think it's fair to Steph to play him just five minutes and then take him out," D'Antoni said. "It's either he gets a big piece of the pie or - it's somewhat disrespectful to say, 'Yeah, go ahead and make one turnover and I'm taking you out.' I'm not going to do that to him. There's either a nice role for him where he's comfortable to perform like he has, or there isn't that role. And right now, how we're set up, I just don't think there's that role where I can say, 'Hey this is your role.' I don't know what the role is for a guy who has been an all-star and has been around the league, I'm not just going to say, 'I don't know where you'll fit in, but I'm going to throw you out there, but don't get too comfortable because I'm going to take you out' . . . I don't want to get into that.
He added that while he's comfortable playing role players like Danilo Gallinari and Mardy Collins four or five minutes at a time, he's not comfortable keeping a former All-Star like Marbury on a short leash or throwing him a bone in garbage time. In other words, don't mind the DNP-CD, Steph, it's a sign of respect. In fact, you're so awesome you can go fetch me a Gatorade.
If that's the case, I'm curious why Marbury even has to dress. Jamaal Tinsley is a persona non grata in Indiana (despite having three years left on his deal) and the Pacers simply told him to stay home until they figure out a way to get rid of him. Why the charade of keeping Marbury active on the bench without any hope that he'll actually see the floor?
At the risk of being redundent, I have to agree with Tom Ziller's conclusion from earlier today: just waive the guy. Set him free. Let him peddle his wares elsewhere. His salary will be paid no matter what, so you may as well reap the benefit of not having to ignore the elephant in the room wearing warmups at the end of the bench.
Mike D'Antoni Won't Give Stephon Marbury Spot Minutes originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.