[article] Grieving Marbury Takes Leave From Knicks Again
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury was away from the team again Thursday, and coach Isiah Thomas wasn't sure when he'd return.
Marbury has missed six of the last nine games since his father died Dec. 2.
Thomas hesitated when asked if he expected Marbury to bounce back and be a contributor.
"He's really having a rough time," Thomas said. "I hope that he can come out of this because he's having a very difficult time."
Marbury officially did not attend Thursday's practice because of a combination of flu-like symptoms and personal reasons. Thomas did not expect him to travel to Friday's game at Charlotte.
"I'm more concerned with Steph just getting back to being happy and dealing with the stuff he has to deal with more than getting back for basketball purposes," guard Jamal Crawford said.
Donald Marbury died after becoming ill while attending a game at Madison Square Garden. Stephon Marbury was in uniform for Wednesday's win over Cleveland but did not play. He had rejoined the team Sunday and played Monday, but didn't practice Tuesday on what would have been his father's birthday.
"We'll get him as much time as he needs," said Thomas, who hadn't yet spoken with Marbury on Thursday. "Again, he's having a very difficult time."
The mood was otherwise upbeat after Thursday's practice. A night earlier, the Knicks posted their most lopsided victory of the season, 108-90 over the reigning Eastern Conference champs.
Forward David Lee started laughing when he was asked if he slept better Wednesday night.
"Absolutely," he said. "Are you kidding me? I got home and went right to sleep. I had a couple nights where I didn't sleep as well thinking about a couple of those losses, so it was great to get a win."
The Knicks have strung together back-to-back victories just twice this season, and each time both wins were at home.
"I think this could be a big stepping stone for us," Lee said. "I guess we're going to see tomorrow. That's the big test: Can we follow it up with another win?"