Stephon Marbury Scammed By European Pranksters

Stephon Marbury feels that he got scammed by promises of a clean slate from Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh. That pales in comparison to an actual scam attempted by a pair of men passing themselves off as representatives of the Real Madrid basketball team.

The New York Post published details of the hoax on Tuesday. Two men, claiming to be bankers with Union Bank Suisse, contacted the newspaper and said that they were trying to sign Marbury to a sponsorship deal that would be parleyed into a contract with the Spanish club. They claimed that the team's boss had spoken to Walsh and that they would pay 12 million Euros to attain Marbury's services. Walsh denies any comment and Marbury returned calls from the investors over the weekend and proclaimed them "phonies."

One can only imagine how entertaining a tape of that conversation would be. It's too bad the hoaxsters weren't a bit more skillful because the thought of Marbury standing in the Madrid airport with a Spanish-English dictionary while he tries to find his ride is one that brings a broad smile.

Marbury's continued clogging of a roster spot isn't a laughing matter for the Knicks, though. Chris Duhon played 48 minutes in Sunday's win against the Pistons, Nate Robinson is sidelined again after a brief return in Atlanta and it's only a matter of time before Cuttino Mobley officially retires. When Mobley goes, they'll be able to get some help but replacing Marbury as well would bolster the team going forward.

More talks aimed at resolving the situation are expected this week, but until one side or the other backs off their position there won't be any movement. It's too bad that the European interest was a farce, because a little Old World whimsy might just allow the two sides to reach an agreement.

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