Stephon Marbury

Stephon Xavier Marbury (born February 20, 1977 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American professional basketball player, currently playing point guard with the New York Knicks. Although his mother Mabel intended on naming her son "Stephen", she did not know how to spell the name and "Stephon", and her spelling of the name on the birth certificate stuck. nhjghjghjghjghjghjghjghjghjghj Marbury has often gone by the nickname "Starbury", a name created during his youth. Since his teenage years he has often been heralded as the next great New York City point guard, following in the footsteps of Mark Jackson and Kenny Anderson. While still attending Abraham Lincoln High School he was one of the subjects of Darcy Frey's book "The Last Shot," which followed three seniors and Marbury, a freshman, through the early months of his first season with the school's team. He was highly touted in both high school and college as a future NBA superstar. In high school he played for the nationally recognized AAU team, the New York Gauchos, out of the Bronx. One of the premier point guards of the league, Marbury was an NBA All-Star in 2001 and 2003 and an All-NBA Third Team member in 2003. Known for his quickness, ball handling and inside scoring, he stands as only the second player in NBA history to have career averages of at least 20 points and 8 assists per game (Oscar Robertson was the first, with career averages of 25.7 points and 9.5 assists per game). However, at times he has been called a selfish player with a shoot-first, pass-second mentality, and many of the teams he has played for have not been successful.

College recruitment[]

Recruited by every major university Marbury capped an incredible senior year by being named a 1995 McDonalds All-American. The squad was an impressive compilation of future NBA talent, featuring future All Stars Kevin Garnett, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and Antawn Jamison. Marbury was listed as one of the top five recruits in the country that year and heavily pursued by Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins. Eventually, Marbury would commit to GT although the announcement was accompanied by its share of controversy. Taking advantage of loopholes in NCAA bylaws and (the bylaws governing transportation and entertainment expenses during recruiting visits), Georgia Tech used its private jet to fly the Marbury family from New York to Atlanta, where they wined and dined the Marburys during a week long visit. Because at the time the prohibitions on transportation for prospects did not include the use of private jets (although they did preclude first class travel), and were not specific about entertainment expenses, Georgia Tech did not technically commit a violation of NCAA rules. It was alleged Marbury and his father cleaned out the mini-bar of the hotel they were billeted in and left Georgia Tech with the bill.

College career[]

Overall, Marbury was a perfect fit for Georgia Tech, a team complete with proven veterans and with All American Travis Best's departure, in desperate need of a point guard. Marbury proved early that he was worthy of his top billing. Teaming with future NBA players Matt Harpring and Drew Barry, he lead Georgia Tech to a 24-12 record enroute to the Regional Semifinal game of the NCAA tournament where the Yellow Jackets lost to Cincinnati 87-70. For the year, Marbury averaged 18.9 ppg and 4.5 assists and was named a Third Team All American by the Associated Press, along with several conference honors. Following the conclusion of the season he announced his intention to declare himself eligible for the NBA draft. Many were amazed that after a full year in college he still didn't know his school's name, calling it Georgia Tech University (the correct name is Georgia Institute of Technology). Later, Marbury would candidly admit that the only reason he attended Georgia Tech was to better position himself for the NBA draft and that he rarely, if ever attended classes. He would also later comment that he "played" Georgia Tech and coach Bobby Cremins, a comment which incensed the school's students, fans and alumni.

Early career[]

Marbury was selected fourth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1996 NBA Draft, then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the draft rights to Ray Allen and a future first-round pick. In his first season in the league, Marbury averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 assists per game and was named to the 1997 All-Rookie Team. He, along with Kevin Garnett, led the Timberwolves to the NBA Playoffs in 1997 and 1998. During the lockout-shortened 1999 season, Marbury was traded to the New Jersey Nets after a falling out with Timberwolves management over his contract. Much of the falling out had to do with Marbury's adjustment to life in Minnesota. Although he was respected in the locker room and a good overall teammate, the move to Minneapolis was a huge culture shock for the Coney Island native, a fact which he did not keep hidden from the media. During an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Marbury would complain that he couldn't even get a beer in Minnesota, whereas in New York he would have his pick of places to drink underage.

New Jersey and Phoenix[]

After two uneventful years in New Jersey, Marbury was traded to the Phoenix Suns for fellow point guard Jason Kidd. He led the team to the playoffs in 2003, and it seemed Marbury had finally found a home as he clicked with teammates Shawn Marion and promising rookie Amare Stoudemire. However, Stoudemire injured himself in the beginning of the 2003-2004 season, and Phoenix struggled to a 3-15 start.

While a member of the Suns, Marbury was arrested for driving under the influence. A police report stated that Marbury was clocked at 75 mph in a 50 mph zone and that his speech was slurred and his breath smelled like alcohol. Marbury had a blood alcohol level of .153. He pled no contest to extreme DUI, served 10 days in jail and attended alcohol education classes. This arrest was seen as a possible motive for Marbury's trade to New York, as the team had just gotten over the incident of Jason Kidd's arrest. Phoenix eventually used the money made during the Marbury trade to re-acquire point guard Steve Nash from the Dallas Mavericks.

Coming home[]

Marbury, along with Penny Hardaway, was traded to the New York Knicks in January 2004. This brought Marbury full circle, as he grew up in New York and was a lifelong Knicks fan. He made an immediate impact, leading a Knicks team in transition to the playoffs on the strength of his performances.

Nonetheless, Marbury's overall tenure as New York's first option point guard has thus far been unremarkable, with the exception of the occasional headline-grabbing controversy. In an infamous rivalry-stoking moment during the 2004-2005 season prior to the Knicks' game against metropolitan rivals the New Jersey Nets, a reporter asked if Marbury felt he could compare with Jason Kidd, the Nets' superstar point guard, and notably the player for whom Marbury was previously traded. In reply, Marbury stated, "How am I comparing myself with him when I already think I'm the best point guard to play basketball. . .I'm telling you what it is. I'm the best point guard in the NBA". The comment backfired after the Knicks lost the game in question and went on to finish last in the Atlantic Division for that season.

During the 2005-2006 season Marbury continued to play relatively well even as the Knicks found it extremely difficult to win as a team under new coach Larry Brown. Despite his team's struggles, the guard found occasion to make yet another statement regarding his perceived superiority to Jason Kidd. This time, during an interview on ESPN's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, Marbury claimed that in a playground situation, with the two players competing in front of a neutral crowd who presumably did not know them as NBA stars, "they would see who the better player was". However, at the time, such a playground battle hardly seemed relevant as Marbury's Knicks were again at the bottom of the Division and as of the latest meeting between the Knicks and Nets with both Marbury and Kidd playing, Kidd had an 8-1 wins to losses record against Marbury. A few months later, Kidd (as a guest on "Quite Frankly") would respond by saying "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But unfortunately in a playground situation I think I would win. I'm bigger, I'm stronger, I'm faster."

More recently, Marbury seems to be entangled in controversy in New York with his ongoing feud with coach Larry Brown through the media. Marbury stated that he feels he needs to score more and needs more freedom to run the offense. Larry Brown criticized Marbury in return stating that he has given Marbury more freedom than any player in the history of his 30 year tenure. Brown further stated that Marbury has not been a good teammate and is only concerned about his own agenda rather than winning. Marbury also said "it's personal now" and the Knicks coach "crossed the line."

Towards the end of the 2005-2006 season, the Knicks poor performance combined with Marbury's public spats with his coach led to a severe decline in popularity for Marbury among Knicks fans, with Frank Isola and Michael O'Keefe of the New York Daily News even suggesting that Marbury is "the most reviled athlete in New York" [1]. In March 2006, trade rumours began to circulate as Knicks supporters and management began to lose patience with the man they once felt could bring the NBA Championship to New York.


Because he has not been a mainstay with any one particular team during his NBA career, Marbury is considered to be a "journeyman" point guard despite his star status. He has consistently been in his team's starting five throughout his time in the NBA and is seen as a scoring point guard rather than a true playmaker. Marbury's lack of real team success with previous franchises has cast doubts on his ability to interact productively with his teammates. Many of his former teammates have complained that Marbury is self-centered and overly cocky. While with the Knicks he is said to have once given a pre-practice pep talk about teamwork only to leave the squad for a massage just as practice began. He has drawn comparison with the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant both for his athleticism and for his "me-first" style of running his team's offense. While he was playing for the Nets in 2001, Marbury wrote "All Alone 33" on his sneakers. His critics note that teams usually improve after he leaves. Indeed, the latest two teams Marbury has been traded from have finished with the best records in their conferences. Marbury's supporters, however, contend that at least in the case of the Phoenix Suns the success had more to do with a strengthening and maturing of the roster and a change in coaching strategy than with the point guard's departure.

In the media, Marbury has cultivated the image of a tough basketballer with skills and attitude learned from both the gym and the streets. Marbury has also shown the tendency to self-promote, which was nowhere more evident than in his infamous 2005 claim that he was "the best point guard in the NBA".

Marbury also played basketball internationally for the United States (Dream Team IV) in the 2004 Summer Olympics, becoming a member of the first United States team comprising NBA players that has failed to win a Gold Medal. He and his teammates returned with Bronze. Despite the disappointment, Marbury scored an Olympic record 31 points in a game against Spain. Marbury was rumored to have nearly been cut by coach Larry Brown due to his inability to execute even the most basic basketball drills in practice.

Rivalry with Allen Iverson[]

Since their college days and a much hyped regular season matchup between the two point guards, Marbury and Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson have been frequently compared to one another. Much of the rivalry stems from the NBA draft where Iverson was drafted ahead of Marbury, a move which at the time Marbury stated was a "huge mistake". Yet while Iverson has attained star status in the league, Marbury, has yet to be considered an A-list superstar player like Iverson. Even more galling for Marbury than a perceived lack of respect from Iverson is the latter's status as the league's premier hip-hop icon. Marbury has cited his years in Minnesota as being partially to blame, admitting that he had forfeited his "street cred" by wearing thousand dollar suits and emulating Michael Jordan while the less conforming Iverson developed a reputation for "keeping it real". The depths of Marbury's insecurity were apparent during his rookie season when he showed up to a Timberwolves game in a tuxedo after watching the Grammys on television. Marbury's frustrations with Iverson also boiled over after Iverson's "Soul on Ice" appearance for the cover of SLAM magazine in March, 1999; despite Marbury's ire Iverson has since appeared on the cover of SLAM nine times, as his broad popularity has helped to sell the magazine. Oddly enough Iverson maintains a friendly relationship with Marbury and seems not to regard him as the threat to his image that Marbury considers him.


Marbury is married to La Tasha and they have three children, all of whom are named after variants of his full name: Stephanie, Xaviera & Stephon Jr.

Marbury is the cousin of Portland Trail Blazers point guard Sebastian Telfair.

Marbury is said to be good friends with Detroit Pistons' legend and current Knicks executive Isiah Thomas. He is also known to count many non-basketball celebrities among his friends. The point guard has been spotted hanging out with entertainers Ja Rule and Nick Cannon[2], as well as members of the New York based rap group Terror Squad and its leader, Fat Joe. In 2003 and 2004 Marbury led Joe's Terror Squad team to the championship of Fat Joe's annual streetball competition, The Entertainer's Basketball League.


".. I've waited 20 years [sobbing], 20 long years for this. . . " - 19 year old Stephon Marbury reacts to being drafted #4 in the 1996 NBA draft.

"It's not even close," Marbury said. "(Garnett) doesn't compare to Amare. Two different people. It's like Michael Jordan and Mario Elie." - Stephon Marbury when asked to compare Kevin Garnett to Suns teammate Amare Stoudemire.

"Forget that I take care of 25 people. . . they don't understand that, in regular society in this world, people work for their families. I have a wife, kids, a mother, a father, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews." - Stephon Marbury reacting to criticism from Sebastian Telfair's family that he did not provide enough financial support to his cousin.

"He flexed a real hard juice card, I know that," Marbury said. "So he definitely made me aware of what he can do. But that doesn?t scare me at all." - Stephon Marbury on what transpired during a one-on-one meeting between him and Larry Brown.

"I want to be a Knick. I want to die a Knick. If I ever was to be cremated, I want my ashes sprinkled on the top of the Garden." - Stephon Marbury on speculation of being traded from New York Knicks.

External links[]

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