Stephon Marbury, you may know him as that crazy dude with a star tattooed on the side of his cranium, among other assessments of the eccentric NBAer's personality. Starbury is the type of guy who if his name came up in rumors involving your favorite NBA team, the immediate reaction would be an exasperated "oh boy."
This is exactly what Wizards fans are dealing with today (as if they didn't have enough going on). Frank Isola of the Knicks Knation blog on the NY Daily News website (hat tip to Bullets Forever) is reporting that the former Timberwolf/Net/Sun/Knick/Celtic could land in D.C. this summer.
Isola writes, "Marbury, according to a source, was contacting Flip Saunders almost on a daily basis during the postseason and there is a chance that Marbury could be reunited with his first professional coach," and "Ernie Grunfeld was a big Marbury fan when Ernie ran the Knicks." '
Marbury, bought out of a ridiculous $20.8 million contract (and that was just the last year) by the Knicks in late February, seemingly left oodles of drama behind him in New York, including a public feud with former GM/coach Isiah Thomas that involved threats of blackmail from Marbury.
Danny Ainge gave Marbury yet another chance in Boston, signing him to the minimum after he cleared waivers. Regarding his tenure in Beantown, Jeff Clark of Celtics Blog writes, "Marbury was surprisingly average and uncharacteristically well behaved. Low risk, low return. He did give us one shining moment when he helped us come from behind to beat the Magic, but beyond that he was very much a non-factor."
All fine and good for a championship team with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but what about the Wizards with their mix of goofy youth and frustrated veterans? Amidst claims of being serious next year, and a new coach, inserting a wild card into the mix might not be the best idea.
Then again, Marbury would probably be an upgrade over Juan Dixon and Mike James, assuming Ernie Grunfeld sends James and his $6.466 million contract packing and signs Marbury for less, saving precious salary cap space.
Either way, look for Grunfeld to practice patience this off-season and hold all options available. If the desperate-for-redemption Starbury is able to recondition his 32-year old body and prove his worth, there just may be a chance for salvation in the Diamond District.