"Whatever you think about Stephon, you can't tell me that the Knicks have a better chance of winning with Mardy Collins
," said one NBA coach. "That never made any sense."
The fallout from Thomas' peculiar decision still resonates. The Knicks are 6-21 since the infamous plane ride
Marbury came into the season saying he was a changed man after finding God. He has even tried to make peace with members of the media. But the scars from the Phoenix trip still linger.
"For a while, no one would talk to Steph when he came into the locker room," said one Knick. "He was being very quiet."
The phasing-out process already has started. Thomas is giving Crawford and Nate Robinson more time at point guard and using Marbury off the ball, which doesn't play to his strengths. Marbury, though, isn't complaining. With a contract that runs through next season, a beaten-down Marbury seems resigned to the fact that his career with the Knicks will end badly
"Isiah gives Jamal the green light," said one Rockets player. "He's Isiah's pet. Steph doesn't have that freedom. Maybe he once had it. But not anymore."