When it comes to the New York Knicks and their handling of Stephon Marbury, I am driving my friends crazy.
Why? Because I tend to side with Steph.
I place the blame for the Knicks' current drama at the feet of president Donnie Walsh and owner James Dolan, who hired a coach they knew did not want Steph and yet have been unable to resolve the matter. It's placed Mike D'Antoni and Marbury -- who I believe can still be a positive game-changer -- in a ridiculously unworkable situation.
My irritation with the bungling of Steph is that it's all about the business side of the NBA. It is not about basketball.
I can remember my boys and I taking a shovel to Palmer Park in Detroit to clear enough snow off the court just to play 21. I can remember getting a run in a couple of hours before my wedding. I played the morning of my divorce. In grad school the only run that could fit my schedule was at 5 a.m. and, believe me, I am not a morning person.
But that's what ballers do. We ball.
While I side more with Steph, I hope he takes a look at what happened to Cuttino Mobley and remembers balling is not a right. True, the business of basketball can easily make a situation frustrating. But if any player can find a quiet space -- away from the media, the trinkets, family and yes-man friends -- maybe then they can remember why they played in the first place.
Mobley, like so many before him, did not get the chance to walk away from his sport on his terms. Life booted him. I'm sure if D'Antoni approached him with 30-35 minutes of PT, he would love to be able to say "I'll take it."
That's what ballers do. We ball.
However this saga with Marbury and the Knicks ends, I do hope one of Coney Island's finest remembers that while the NBA is a business the 'B' always stands for basketball. Through no fault of his own, Marbury's would-be teammate Mobley is no longer able to play. When another coach hands Marbury the ball and asks him to do so, I hope he remembers that.