Stephon Marbury Warms Up to the Bench

Stephon Marbury

When the Knicks opened training camp, Stephen Marbury wasn't shy about his


expectations -- the money quote was, "I'm not coming off the bench here in New York." Less than two weeks later, though, he's already changed his tune. From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

"I don't want to go through any more distractions," Marbury told The Post. "I want all of us to concentrate on winning and not if I'm going to start or not. I want us to be able to go forward. If the Knicks want me to come off the bench, that's what I'm going to do. I just want to win a championship in New York because we as New Yorkers deserve a chip."

Of course, it's one thing to say all right things now, before the first tip-off of the first preseason game, and it's another to still mean it come December or January when the Knicks are riding a 10-game losing streak. To his credit, though, Marbury finally seems genuinely concerned about his status as a locker room pariah. Why didn't he seem to care last season? Perhaps because Isiah Thomas was equally responsible for all of the drama and controversy.

This year, with a new coach that's still universally revered by the fans, players and media, even Marbury has to realize that he's solely responsible for whatever fate awaits him. If he embraces his role as a sixth-man behind Chris Duhon and handles the switch from point guard to shooting guard, he still has a chance to re-write his legacy. If he pouts and makes life uncomfortable, he'll cement his status as one of the franchise's biggest mistakes.

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