Estranged New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury was told on Monday to stay away from the team after talks on a possible buyout of his US$21 million contract failed to produce a settlement.
“After meeting with Stephon and his representative this afternoon, we have directed Stephon not to participate in practice or attend games until further notice,” Knicks president Donnie Walsh said in a statement. “We want to continue to meet with him to discuss a long-term resolution.”
The 31-year-old Marbury, with a career-scoring average of 19.7 points per game over 12 years with four clubs, has not played a single minute this season.
Marbury, who had feuds with the two previous Knicks coaches, was shunned at the start of the season by Mike D’Antoni and placed on the inactive list, attending games in street clothes.
After a series of trades and injuries left the Knicks severely short-handed, Marbury was asked to play but he declined.
Walsh suspended Marbury for one game without pay and docked him an additional game’s salary, forfeiting close to US$400,000 after his refusal to play last week in a loss to Detroit.
Walsh is against cutting Marbury and having to pay him even though he would be free to shop himself to another team. Marbury has said he wants to be paid in full.
The bad blood between the native New Yorker and the Knicks spilled into print when he blasted Knicks player Quentin Richardson for talking about him.
“I sat there for three weeks and didn’t say one word,” Marbury told the New York Post on Monday. “I didn’t hear one of my teammates say, ‘Why isn’t Stephon Marbury playing?’ Guys like Quentin Richardson say, ‘I don’t consider him a teammate. He let his teammates out to dry.’ He didn’t care I was his teammate when I was banished.”
“They left me out for dead. It’s like we’re in a foxhole and I’m facing the other way. If I got shot in the head, at least you want to get shot by the enemy. I got shot in the head by my own guys in my foxhole,” he said.
CELTICS 107, MAGIC 88
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to their ninth straight win, over the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Ray Allen added 21 points, Rajon Rondo had 16 points with 12 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points for the Celtics (17-2) in a matchup of Eastern Conference division leaders.
Rashard Lewis paced Orlando (13-5) with 30 points. Hedo Turkoglu had 19 and Dwight Howard, the NBA’s leading rebounder, added 14 points with 15 boards.
The Magic had their four-game winning streak snapped. Orlando had won six straight road games, one short of a club record that was set at the start of last season.
BOBCATS 100, TIMBERWOLVES 90
At Charlotte, North Carolina, Jason Richardson scored 25 points in another strong performance following arthroscopic knee surgery as Charlotte beat error-prone Minnesota.
It was the third straight game of at least 21 points for Richardson since his return after sitting out seven contests following exploratory surgery on his right knee. He led an efficient offense that included a season-high 24 points from Emeka Okafor, while Raymond Felton added 14 assists with only one turnover.
Randy Foye scored 23 points and Mike Miller added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were never in sync in their second straight loss. Top scorer Al Jefferson was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and Minnesota committed 14 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.