Stephon Marbury Won't Take Less in a Buyout

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Stephon Marbury

There's been a lot of chatter lately that the Knicks are prepared to buy out the final year of Stephon Marbury's contract. Over the weekend Howard Beck of the New York Times predicted it'd happen before the start of the season, and just yesterday Alan Hahn of Newsday took it a step further by saying it'd happen before the end of the week.

Beck and Hahn are accomplished journalists so I'm sure they have their sources; nevertheless, Donnie Walsh is maintaining a public front of denial. From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Walsh said through a spokesman, "He is coming to training camp. We have not approached Stephon about a buyout."

Note what Walsh didn't say; he didn't say the Knicks haven't discussed a buyout internally, and he didn't say that Marbury would be on the roster at the start of the year. So at the moment, his comments don't really change anything. What does Marbury think about all of this talk?

"There wouldn't be no negotiation," Marbury said. "They're going to give me all my money. ... If they want to waive me and give me all my money, fine. If not, I'll try to help this organization win the championship. They told me to come to camp in the best shape of my life and I did that. But I don't want to be in a place I'm not wanted."

As Hahn points out in his blog, players taking a buyout usually accept 75 cents on the dollar, but since Marbury is due $21.9 million this year, that means leaving $5.4 million on the table. And for what? To become the scapegoat for all of the team's struggles the last several years? I'm not sure I'd accept anything less were I in Marbury's shoes, either, especially if I've done my part (like he reportedly has) by spending the summer dropping weight. If the Knicks really want Marbury gone, they should pay the man what he's due.

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