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News » Knicks, disgruntled Marbury agree on buyout

Knicks, disgruntled Marbury agree on buyout

Knicks, disgruntled Marbury agree on buyout
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Knicks are free of Stephon Marbury, and the troublesome point guard is free to join a playoff contender.

Marbury was waived Tuesday by the Knicks, ending a turbulent five-year stint in which the former All-Star couldn't lead his hometown team to a single playoff victory.

The team released a statement saying an agreement between the Knicks and Marbury had been reached, but did not disclose financial terms. Knicks president Donnie Walsh has said the team and Marbury have been trying to work out a buyout.

Walsh's hope was to get something for Marbury in a trade, but with Marbury's salary of close to $21 million this season and a divisive personality, he knew a deal was improbable.

Marbury would be eligible to play in the postseason for any team that signs him because he was waived by March 1. He has been linked to the Boston Celtics, who are in need of a backup guard with Tony Allen injured.

Though perhaps the most talented player on the roster, Marbury hadn't played in a game this season as new coach Mike D'Antoni preferred to stick with the players who would be part of the Knicks' future. He never gave the temperamental guard a chance to cause the same troubles for him that he did for Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas.

The Knicks' statement also said Marbury's grievance against the Knicks had been resolved. The sides attended an arbitration hearing earlier Tuesday regarding the nearly $400,000 in salary the team had docked the point guard after alleging he refused D'Antoni's request to play in a game in Detroit in November when the team was short-handed.

He then publicly criticized D'Antoni and said he could never play for the coach because he didn't trust him. Marbury sought his departure soon after that episode, but hadn't met face-to-face with Walsh since Dec. 1, when he left a meeting after just 20 minutes because they weren't close on a buyout agreement.

Marbury had previously refused to surrender more than $1 million of the remaining $20.8 million on his contract. It's unclear what he gave up Tuesday to secure his release.

The Celtics and Miami Heat are the teams that are most frequently mentioned as possible destinations. Whatever team signs Marbury will get a player who hasn't played in a regular-season game in more than a year.

Walsh acknowledged being concerned about Marbury joining a team that the Knicks could face down the line. The Knicks could have held onto him past the deadline, but Walsh said Monday he preferred to work out an arrangement that benefitted both sides.

"You want to do the right thing," he said, "by the player and you. I mean the team."


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Added: February 25, 2009


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