Marbury Suspension Solves Absolutely Nothing

The Knicks have fired back at Stephon Marbury's assertion that he never refused to play in Wednesday night's game by suspending him for one game. Marbury is also being told to stay away from the team until Monday when his situation will be reevaluated. Additionally, ESPN reports that the team will dock him one game's pay.

Well, that solves ... absolutely nothing. If the Knicks feel that Marbury refused to play on Wednesday, then they should release him and start an action to avoid paying him the rest of his salary. Insubordination of that sort, which Marbury vehemently denies, should be met with the harshest possible penalty, not a minor fine and suspension. This is a face-saving manuever that's a month too late to do any good.

Sure, withholding Marbury's remaining salary would create an issue with the union and the league offices and extend the distraction. But this suspension extends the distraction, too. Hal Biagas, an NBA Players' Association attorney advising Marbury, told Friday morning that they plan to file a grievance, and this standoff seems to require an outside mediator to come to a conclusion.

It doesn't help matters that Marbury has refused to hire an agent to help him through this process. His only representation is a lawyer from the player's union: A player's union lawyer had no motivation to promote Marbury's best interests. Had Marbury used an agent, as Alan Hahn of Newsday writes this morning, there would have been a buyout by now.

The lack of an agent is just one of the many factors that has dragged this situation long past any reasonable date. Marbury's attitude (He told the Post "I wouldn't trust [Coach D'antoni] to walk my dog across the street.") can't be discounted, or course. Today's decision by the Knicks will only extend the madness, as Marbury continues to hold down a roster spot the team needs for someone who will actually play.

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