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Wake Up With An NBA Countdown: Stephon Marbury

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings

Good morning everybody, happy Monday! I hope you had yourself a great weekend, but unfortunately it’s time to get back on that grind. To help you transition into another brutal work week, I figured this morning we’d take a look at one of the most polarizing NBA players of my generation.

Stephon Marbury.

I think it’s safe to say Marbury is a bit misunderstood, and these days a bit of a crazy person. Even still, there may not have been a more entertaining offensive point guard in the league during his heyday. The fourth overall pick in the 1996 Draft by MIN (they traded Ray Allen’s draft rights for him), Marbury and Garnett were supposed to be the next great NBA duo. It was those two that led MIN to their first ever playoff appearances in the mid 90s (they would make it the next 8 years), but the problem was they never got out of the first round. It should have been a match made in heaven, but during the lockout in 1999, Marbury demanded out. Now it isn’t clear what his true reasons were, there are rumors that he wanted to be closer to his family, there are rumors that he just wanted a bigger market to become a superstar and was jealous of how big KG was getting, and just like that after three seasons he was shipped off to New Jersey. A career 16.9/2.9/8.3 player in MIN, Marbury never really was all that efficient finishing with 41/32% splits.

If he wanted to become a star, NJ sure is where you could make the case that started to happen. Much more of a focal point within the Nets offense, Marbury’s production exploded to 23//3.1/8.1 on 43/32% splits. He averaged the most FGA and 3PM of any team he ever played for, making his first All Star Game in his third season as a Net. The team success still evaded him though, as the Nets never made the playoffs any season in which Marbury played there. In fact, they never won more than 31 games and made the fucking Finals the first year he was gone. Not the best look in my opinion.

From there he was traded for another great point guard Jason Kidd. Now in PHX, Marbury had the same sort of green light he did in NJ, and his production didn’t really drop off at all. In fact he made another All Star team his second year there, and was paired with some pretty legit talent in a young Shawn Marion and young Amar’e Stoudemire. That team got themselves to the playoffs, but just like his MIN days, the Suns led by Marbury lost in the first round. At 27, it was time for Marbury to be on the move once again, returning home to play for the Knicks in an 8 player trade.

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Most people probably think of the Knicks the most when thinking about Marbury, it was where he spent the most of any team in his career (5 seasons). It was in NY that Marbury played his most efficient basketball of his career (44/34% splits), but it was more of the same when it came to team success. The Knicks made the playoffs just once in his tenure, they lost in the first round, and by 2005 Marbury and Larry Brown hated each other’s guts. After Brown was fired and replaced by Isiah Thomas, things didn’t go that much smoother for Marbury there either. Thomas eventually pulled him from the starting lineup and the whole relationship had a pretty ugly ending with Marbury getting a season ending ankle surgery in 2008 that the team didn’t feel he needed. Once Thomas was out and D’Antoni showed up, and you guessed it, things didn’t go smoothly their either. In December of that season, Marbury was banned from attending any practices or games.

When it comes to Stephon Marbury, history will show that he was this crazy talented offensive player, a much better passer than he gets credit for, but also sort of a cancer that never really won. Maybe that’s unfair to some degree, but he did sort of bring things on himself. I always wondered what would have happened had he stayed a little longer with KG in MIN, maybe they would have gotten over that playoff hump together sooner. He did go off to have an insane career in China, so I doubt Marbury is complaining, but he’ll always be one of the most intriguing players of my generation simply because he was so damn talented.

So hopefully you enjoy today’s video as always if there’s a player you’d like to see in this blog every morning just list them in the comments below. Otherwise I hope your 9-5 goes quick today, and have yourself a great Monday!