Stephon Marbury Is Back, and PrayingStephon Marbury was back in Madison Square Garden last night after a week of absence forced by Isiah Thomas. (Marbury is on the injured list because of ankle surgery, but last week we learned that Thomas had banned the Knicks point guard from home games, and even went so far as to leave his name off a list of backcourt players when talking about the 2008–2009 season.) Marbury said that some of Thomas’s comments this week “bothered” him a lot, but that he “prayed to God” he would return full-time next season. From the Daily News:
“Whatever [Thomas] is saying he is going to do I can’t change his mind. I can tell you how I feel about the organization and how I feel about Mr. Dolan. He didn’t have to sign the bill for me to come here. I respect him a lot despite all of what is going on.”
Things have gotten so bad in Knicksville that now announcers rush through reading off Thomas’s name so the crowd won’t have time to boo. Marbury himself calls it a “circus.” Since it’s become clear that the feuding duo probably won’t both be back next season, but maybe one or the other will, the game of sucking up to Jimmy Dolan has begun.
STEPH: I WANNA STAY [NYP]
Stephon Marbury back in ‘circus’ [NYDN]
Eric Nederlander Just Can’t WinBroadway scion Eric Nederlander is divorcing his second wife just seven weeks after having a daughter with her. Theodora Richards is now vice-president of creative direction at some jeans company. Maxim gave Nas’s new album two and a half stars despite the fact that it’s not even done yet. (They did the same thing to the new Black Crowes record.) Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez flipped out at a midtown bar after a female fan chatted up her boyfriend. Lorne Michaels is in talks with a major Vegas casino to create a live SNL revue starring former popular cast members.
in other news
Stephon Has an Alibi, and It’s a Good OneOkay, remember yesterday when everyone made such a big deal out of Stephon Marbury’s fleeing the Knicks in Phoenix and returning to New York all of a sudden? Nobody knew quite what was going on, not even Isiah Thomas, who had gotten in a nasty fight with Marbury on the team plane when he told the point guard he wouldn’t be starting in the night’s game. This spurred a lot of anti-Marbury sentiment, with columnists and pundits and us grumpily speculating as to what he might have been up to. Today, the Times figured at least part of it out. If you haven’t read about his activities during his two-day break, pick the most likely-sounding scenario from the below list:
A) He was plotting revenge on Thomas and spending his time figuring out how, as he put it, to “fuck him first.”
B) He was having sex with an intern in a truck.
C) He was at a Coney Island housing project grieving with the family of a deceased basketball coach who had mentored hundreds of talented players in the tough neighborhood, including Marbury (who once gave the coach a white Cadillac with vanity plates).
Ding Ding Ding! The Times says it’s C. Who’s the jerk now?
A Mentor of Street Ball Dies, and a Missing Knick Appears [NYT]
Earlier: Marbury Stephs on All Our Dreams
the sports section
Marbury Stephs on All Our DreamsA day after Stephon Marbury fled Phoenix after a major blowout with Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, and two days after the Daily News came out with a report that the point guard’s future with the team is in doubt, everybody is still clutching for information. ESPN.com has started a “Marbury Watch,” which is of course what any Website should do on such an occasion, and the Times called the whole thing “a startling sign of how badly his once-promising career has eroded.” The News asked, “When does Thomas officially get put on notice? Why should Thomas, after all he’s done to build nothing more than a mediocre team for years to come, be allowed to make what would be another radical, franchise-changing move?” And the Post, of course, put Marbury’s face on a milk carton and called him a “Basket Case.” But nearly everybody, including us, is obsessed with what Marbury shrieked to his team after hearing he wouldn’t start anymore: “Isiah has to start me,” he reportedly ranted. “I’ve got so much [stuff] on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can [get] me. But I’ll [get] him first. You have no idea what I know.” First of all, it’s awesome how they translate Marbury’s swears for us, as though we wouldn’t understand what he meant if they said “s—, f—, f—.” And second, OH YES.
Stephon Marbury threatens to dish info about Isiah Thomas [NYDN]
Traveling Marbury [NYP]
Unhappy Marbury Leaves Knicks Trip [ESPN]
Marbury Leaves Knicks In Dispute [NYT]
it just happened
Stephon Marbury Pouts, Whines, Goes MissingAfter a difficult summer and amid rumors he’s leaving the team permanently, Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury stomped out of the team’s shootaround in Phoenix this morning, reportedly because Knicks coach Isiah Thomas declined to put him in tonight’s starting lineup after his lackluster defense in Miami this past weekend. According to the Post, Marbury has told friends “he feels he’s best playing 40 minutes a night and would struggle in a non-starting role.” Thomas, sounding like any parent with a runaway teenager, appealed for the return of the 30-year-old player through the press. “We hope he’s at the game,” he told the Post. “If not, make no mistake about it, we do want him as a member of this basketball team.”
Marbury Bolts From Knicks [NYP]
Stephon Marbury’s Days With the Knicks May Be Numbered [NYDN]
it happened this week
The sixth anniversary of 9/11 came and went, with what has come to pass for normality on the city’s darkest date: a walk-through at ground zero for victims’ families, and Rudy Giuliani observing a rare moment of silence. Just like old times, a suspicious powder turned up in the mail room at the Standard & Poor’s offices. Census data found that blacks appear to be leaving the city — an exodus that may increase after 704 code violations were found at a single Harlem apartment building. The toxic oil spill under Greenpoint was discovered to be bigger than anyone had imagined. HIV infections were once again on the rise.
in other news
Anucha Browne Sanders Continues Knicks Full Court Press
In a bizarre twist (as though there have been any twists that weren’t bizarre) in the Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial, the Post reports that a Knicks intern who succumbed to Stephon Marbury in the back of a car has agreed to testify for the defense. In other words, she’s going to clear Marbury of any wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior (except, you know, cheating on his wife). This is an effort to clear up the impression that lawyers for plaintiff Anucha Browne Sanders are trying to create, which is that the Knicks enterprise is macho and sexist. But just as they try to staunch that wound, another one has sprung open. The Daily News reveals that Browne Sanders unearthed a Burn Book written by Madison Square Garden officials describing what they’d like to do to the comely Rangers ice dancers. And we’re not talking about assisting with a double-hand lift. It boggles the mind why the Knicks haven’t settled yet. This circus of sleaze is only going to get worse, and knowing this city’s tabloids, it’s only a matter of time before the team gets rechristened “The New York Dickerbockers.”
Stephon’s Hoop Skirt to Testify [NYP]
Ice-Skate Shocker Has ‘Em Shivering [NYDN]
Scalia Digs TortureSupreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is, not surprisingly, a fan of Jack Bauer’s 24 torture techniques. Mark Green is set to join Al D’Amato and Ed Koch on NY1’s Inside City Hall program. Jeanine Pirro is set to star in a Judge Judy–esque show. Ellen Barkin and Ralph Fiennes have been canoodling. Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury gave $300 to a homeless man. The Olsen twins trekked to Atlantic City for a Bob Dylan concert. The late Kurt Vonnegut has a role in an upcoming DVD. A gay former CBS News producer filed a $10 million discrimination suit against his former employer because he felt the network didn’t want his gay-bashing in St. Maarten to be publicized. Aussie golfer Greg Norman and his ex-wife-to-be have finally come to (undisclosed) terms on how to split up his $500 million fortune. Patti LaBelle didn’t need a mike to wow a Carnegie Hall audience.