ESPN article about Brown vrs Starbury
Marbury: 'It's personal now'
posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2006
filed under: NBA, New York Knicks, Stephon Marbury
The Larry Brown vs. Stephon Marbury feud escalated this morning at the Knicks' shootaround, the hate-hate relationship sinking to new depths of discord.
First, Marbury stood before reporters, called Brown insecure and vowed he'd keep striking back at Brown whenever he feels he's been publicly criticized.
Next, Brown castigated Marbury for having a selfish agenda and deflecting blame.
"I think it's personal now," Marbury said. "I don't think it's about basketball anymore. Now it's to the point where he's putting his 30-year career against my 10-year career. You know, coach is a great coach is what everyone says. We're supposed to be better than what we are. Did it happen now? No."
Brown was a portrait of disgust one day after asking people to compare his track record vs. his point guard's. Criticizing Marbury's "agenda," Brown also insinuated that Marbury hadn't accepted his share of the criticism for the Knicks having the NBA's worst record despite its highest payroll.
"So, you're the best guard in the league and the team is 17-45, yeah, it's the coach's fault," Brown said.
This was the fifth straight day of the two adversaries bickering at each other, and Wednesday's developments left the rest of the team staring in disbelief as first Marbury, then Brown, went through the ritual of airing their gripes through the team's beat writers.
"You've got to wonder whether both these guys own newspaper stocks," quipped Howard Beck of the Times.
A few more quotes from Marbury's diatribe and Brown's retort:
"If coach is comparing his career to my career, he's got like a 20-year edge on me. To me that sounds like a lot of insecurity is going on. … He's speaking on things he's done, and I think people in New York want to know what he's going to do, you know, as far as us winning. What happened in the past is the past. I think New Yorkers can relate [to] what's going to happen now. We live more in the present."
On whether Brown had crossed the line by comparing his own track record of improving the teams he has coached to Marbury's history of failing to make better any of the teams he's been traded to:
"He always crosses the line. That's not nothing new. Certain coaches deal with certain things certain ways, and he handles his things through the media as opposed to sitting down and talking with people. And still, if you sit down and you talk with coach, it's liable to get back to everybody, so you're really not safe there either."
On whether he wants to play for Brown:
"I want to play basketball in New York. I love New York, and I believe New York loves me. … I'm at the point where I just want to win, and I want to play in New York more than anything in this world. But if that's not happening next year, I can't cry about it. I've been in this situation before and I understand, I know it's a business."
On whether Isiah Thomas should step in and try to resolve the feud:
"We don't have to have another grown man come and mediate two grown men. What's that about? He's the boss, but if there's a problem, come to me like a man. I don't have no problem. I'm comfortable with myself. I know who I am as a person."
On their future:
"I can coexist. I can't speak for another person. I'm cool. I'm fine. I can deal with it. But I'm no longer going to allow him to say things about me and I'm not going to say anything back. I mean that's just not going to happen. That's not going to happen. I allowed him to drag me the first three or four months in the paper, and I didn't say one word. I just sat back and just took it. But I'm not taking it no more. If something's going to be said, I'm going to defend myself. My mother taught me that: Somebody hits you, you hit them back."
On what the solution might be:
"I don't know. If I was a chemistry teacher, I'd probably have an answer, but I don't. … I don't need no new start. My start is right here in New York unless they say otherwise."
A few snippets from Brown:
Upon being informed that Marbury planned to continue answering perceived slights through the media:
"That's great, that's great. Again, I'm the coach of a basketball team, and the only thing that matters to me is that we play the right way, share the ball, try to guard and care about our teammates. I'm going to focus on that. I'm not going to focus on things that have nothing to do with being a good teammate. I've been coaching the same way my whole life. Things that really matter, I've said over and over and over again. It's amazing to me. I've never had a problem getting people to understand that before, and it's mind boggling to me after we win two games that it becomes an issue. So I want to focus on guys that are trying to do the right things to help our team win, and that's what I'm going to do."
Ever deal with anything like this before?
Does it raise doubts in Brown's mind about whether he and Marbury are a good pairing going forward?
"Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. No coach, no coach, would enjoy this situation. Because every coach that coaches this sport, it's about team. And when you hear players talk about team, you get real excited. When you don't hear players talk about team, it's not a lot of fun."
Would he walk away in frustration?
"No, no. No, no."
Is the best solution to trade Marbury over the summer?
"I'm not even thinking about that. I'm just trying to coach our team and make guys better. I want guys that care about the team that want to win games that understand what our problems are and try to correct them."
Is Marbury one of those guys?
"Well, we'll see. We're 17-45, and I'll take full responsibility for us winning 17 games and losing 45. So, you're the best guard in the league and the team is 17-45, yeah, it's the coach's fault.
"I don't know why you play a team sport and not be concerned about making your teammates better and helping your team win games. That's the only thing that really matters, and if you're the best player, surely you're going to have some effect on the game's outcome. And I've said this from day one, I've never given anybody in my career more free rein. In my career. And I went to the conference finals with Haywoode Workman as the point guard. Eric Snow was the fourth-string point guard in Seattle, and we went to the NBA Finals [with Snow in Philadelphia].
"I've been around guys, and every good team, it's all about team, and that's what we're going to try and get. You want to come and join that? That's fine. That's the only message that needs to be sent. You want to be part of the team and make your teammates better, you want to care about the right things and playing the right way, this is a pretty good place to be. You don't have that on your agenda, then this is probably a bad place to be."