Clock ticking on Stephon Marbury's tenure with the Knicks

Mark it down; this New York Daily News story is the beginning of the end for Marbury and his time with the hometown Knicks. Apparently, Coach Isiah Thomas and owner James Dolan met in private after the Knicks most recent loss and discussed “options” for dealing with the “Marbury problem,” from reducing his role on the team to releasing him outright. And, reacting to the news, Marbury decided to skip practice this morning.

When the coach and owner sit down to contemplate your role and somehow, miraculously, those private conversations make it into the pages of your local paper, the writing on the wall, nay the bright red neon sign on the wall, spells impending doom. The details of their conversation didn’t just come out through intrepid journalism; they were “leaked” out on purpose. Marbury is done in New York. Caput. Finito. Fuggedaboutit.

But whether Marbury is traded outright or the $42 million remaining on his contract is bought out, this latest flare-up in Knickerbocker land could, or should, mark the beginning of a major unraveling. It is all well chronicled, but one by one, just about every big name, big contract player that coach/GM Isiah Thomas has bought in – from Francis to Houston -- was either bought out, traded or retired. Sooner or later, the same fate awaits other current players like Zach Randolph, Jamal Crawford, Eddie Curry…the list goes on.

Not that individually some of these players aren’t talented, but collectively the culture that Thomas has built and Dolan has allowed to percolate is a cancer on the Knicks’ chances at success. Over the last few seasons, these two stooges have held the Knicks roster and reputation together with duct tape, crazy glue and false promises to their fans, but no longer. Besides, given the current talent on the Knicks, the team isn’t going anywhere significant, anytime soon.

It’s time for the Knicks to clean house from top down, following the recent blueprint set forth by the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trailblazers, and run a complete overhaul. Some of the contracts, like Marbury’s will be tough to move. But, let’s put Dolan, and his Cablevision dollars, to good use and initiate contract buyouts wherever possible, and trades everywhere else. It may be costly sure, and they might have to really suck for a couple of years, but in the long-run it’s the only road to take.

No comments: