Guard Stephon Marbury will earn $21.9 million this season.
A six-pack of thoughts while staying out of any VIP area that serves drinks to patrons carrying loaded .40-caliber Glocks.
1. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit, but I figured Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni were too smart and too classy to let this Stephon Marbury situation get as out of hand as it has. Marbury has been nothing more than a black cloud hanging over the Knicks this season, and the team simply refuses to cut ties with him over money. Do I even need to remind anyone how much money the Knicks have wasted over the years? At this point, paying Marbury to no longer be associated with the Knicks would be the best investment they've made in the past decade. Listen, Marbury isn’t going to be cooperative. He has $21.9 million coming his way this season and isn’t about to give any discounts to an organization that he feels lied to him and disrespected him. So, the Knicks would be better off simply cutting ties with Marbury, paying him his salary and moving forward. That’s essentially what they’re doing now but paying him to stay at home. Why not just take the next logical step and cut the guy and allow D’Antoni and the current Knicks to move on and allow Marbury to salvage whatever career he has left in the NBA?
2. I keep hearing over and over how Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field by 10 points and thus deserves to win the Big 12 South and play in the Big 12 Championship (over OU) this weekend. I couldn’t agree more if this were a two-team tie between Oklahoma and Texas, but I’m baffled by the number of people that conveniently forget the Big 12 South came down to a three-team tie with Texas Tech in the mix; and Texas lost to Texas Tech, while Oklahoma beat the Red Raiders by 44 points. Everyone just wants to cut Texas Tech out of the equation when the Red Raiders, just like Oklahoma and Texas, are 11-1 overall and 7-1 in conference. The bottom line is Mack Brown can politic all he wants but Texas had a chance to avoid this controversy by simply beating Texas Tech. If Blake Gideon had just made a routine interception or Curtis Brown tackled Michael Crabtree at the end of the game, Texas would be the No. 1 team in the country and the computer rankings would be moot in Austin.
3. Forget about Plaxico Burress ever playing for the Giants again. That’s not even a question at this point, as the Giants have probably already begun exploring ways to recoup whatever is left of the five-year, $35 million contract they gave him in the offseason. The bigger question is Burress’ future as a free man. I would be shocked if Burres doesn’t do some time for Illegal possession of a firearm, which carries a sentence of 3 1/2 to 15 years in jail in New York state. Now I’m guessing he would get his possible sentence reduced to maybe a year or two, but I don’t see how he gets out of spending some time behind bars with a case as clear-cut as this. As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “If you carry a loaded handgun, you get an automatic 3½ years in the slammer and I don’t think anybody should be exempt from the law; and it would be an outrage if we didn’t prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. ... It's pretty hard to argue the guy didn't have a gun and that it wasn't loaded. You've got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there.”
4. For those of you pushing for better games on Thanksgiving, consider that two of the last four games on the Monday Night Football schedule are Jacksonville at Houston and Cleveland at Philadelphia, two meaningless games featuring four teams out of the playoffs. What does that have to do with Thanksgiving, you ask? It simply highlights the fact that when these schedules are released in April, no one can predict how good any two teams will be by the end of November. Sure, you could probably assume the Lions would be bad this season, but let’s be honest, were any of the other games on Turkey Day much better?
5. As good as the Lakers have been to begin the season (I’m still not sure they can bang with the Celtics and Pistons in the Finals), can we please stop talking about them winning 70 games? In 2001 when the Lakers opened the season at 16-1, they finished at 58-24 and second in the Pacific. Now the Lakers will finish with a better record than that, but injuries and complacency will get in the way of the club getting anywhere near the Bulls’ record of 72-10 in 1996.
6. Just wondering, but do the people who continue to write sports subtitles under that famous scene from The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich
think they’re being original? I hope not, but sadly, I get the sense my friends who send me a new one every week think they are.