In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Stephon Marbury claims that he's sitting on an offer from the Boston Celtics. He says there's another team that wants to sign him as well, and blasted the Knicks for banishing him with one hand and refusing to let him leave the team with the other.
"The question to be asked to the Knicks is: Are they fearful for me playing for another Eastern Conference team," Marbury said. "My thing is, they shouldn't be fearful. They're trying to get under the cap for 2010. They shouldn't be worried about me. You had guys saying I was a distraction, I'm a cancer. If I'm all those things, wouldn't you want me to go to another team?"
Marbury has offered to give back $1 million of his salary to facilitate his release from the team and there have been reports that the Knicks are looking for $2 million in return, although the team refuses to confirm that. In the interview Marbury invoked Barack Obama and accused the Knicks of playing "kids games" by constantly shifting responsibility for the Marbury buyout from G.M. Donnie Walsh to owner James Dolan.
He's right, and it's time for the Knicks to either cut bait or stand up and say Marbury isn't going anywhere. Fear of what Marbury will do in a return to the Garden shouldn't enter into the equation. Walsh or Dolan or whoever should stand up and say that the Knicks made their bed and are content to sleep in it, but it will be their bed and not Boston's.
Refusing to pay Marbury's salary while he plays for another team is a perfectly reasonable stance to take, even if it isn't the one Marbury would prefer. It's just as reasonable for Marbury to refuse to give back a single dollar, even if the Knicks would prefer that outcome. So we're left right back where we started, which is why there probably won't be any resolution to this impasse.