After so many false reports of Stephon Marbury’s imminent departure from the Knicks, it’s almost hard to believe that the team has finally, officially parted ways with the former superstar. But it really is true: As part of a settlement reached yesterday, in which Marbury dropped his grievance over a $400,000 fine from earlier this season, Marbury is finally free to sign elsewhere, almost certainly in Boston.
There were only two possible reasons to keep Marbury any longer: One would be to keep him off the roster of a team (like Boston) that the Knicks might face in the playoffs. But if he’s so terrible that the Knicks won’t even let him dress for games, we doubt they cared about potentially having to play him — even if he’ll be insanely motivated to show them up. The other would have been out of pure spite, and to be honest, that wouldn’t really be fair to Marbury, who’s handled his benching pretty well, all things considered. Sure, there are monetary considerations, but this always seemed like an awfully pointless punishment for what he’d done as a Knick, and it was always unclear whether they were simply punishing him or proving a point about Isiah Thomas’s bad acquisitions.
Either way, another of Isiah’s mistakes is now gone, though we have a feeling this still isn’t totally over. Because once we’re done looking back at his Knicks career (which was beyond disappointing), and at the circus that surrounded the process of him leaving (which was actually pretty entertaining, between the rumors of him playing in Greece and the improv YouTube videos), we suspect Marbury will finally speak his mind about Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni and Isiah Thomas. And having more or less kept his mouth shut about them for the past few months, we suspect he’ll have plenty to say.