Marbury's Last Chance?

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It wasn't supposed to be this way for Stephon Marbury.

New York Knicks fans rejoiced on that fateful January day four years ago when Isiah Lord Thomas brought Brooklyn's Finest home to resurrect this once-proud franchise.

Marbury would return home to stake his claim as the greatest guard the city ever produced, and he'd lead the Knicks deep into June -- to a championship perhaps -- in the process. Sure, New York produced the likes of Tiny Archibald, Bob Cousy, Kenny Anderson, Kenny Smith, Lenny Wilkens, Mark Jackson, and Dick McGuire to name a few.

But Marbury would be the greatest of them all. Indeed, Brooklyn's Finest was home and Knicks games at MSG were once again the hottest ticket in town.

"Now Marbury is given the chance to show everybody, at the Garden, across the river from (Jason Kidd),that he can still be everything in basketball that he was supposed to be," Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News wrote the day after the trade.

"Marbury has wanted the Garden his whole life. He has it now, and has a guard even greater than him - Isiah Thomas - running the operation there," Lupica wrote.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

In frustrating, painstaking fashion, Knicks fans saw those hoop dreams deflate in a New York minute. No one could have envisioned Marbury as he is now -- hoping for one last shot at redemption in a Knicks uniform.

None of us expected that Marbury's defining moments with the Knicks would occur nowhere near the basketball court. No, Marbury's biggest moments with the Knicks were the (alleged) fistfight with Thomas on a team flight after being told he was being benched; in the courtroom where he admitted to an affair with a team intern; and at 30 Rockefeller Center, the site of his unfortunate interview with NBC's Bruce Beck.


And now, after four years of abject failure -- the Knicks, and New York appear ready to move on. Donnie Walsh is reportedly on the prowl for the Knicks' point guard of the future heading into Thursday's draft.

Yet with trade value that's all but evaporated, Marbury is likely to get one last chance with the Knicks. Under normal circumstances, a player with a $21 million expiring contract is highly tradable, but rival GM's are leery because of Marbury's rep for being a bad teammate and uncoachable.

"Personally I don't think he has much value. I don't know who would want to deal with him," one team executive told Newsday last month.

So that likely means one last chance for Brooklyn’s Finest to make good, even though his legacy is likely already set.

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