As readers of this blog may be aware, I am a proud Knicks fan living in a state full of Trailblazer worshipers. The sad dysfunction of the Knicks over the last several seasons (who haven't had a winning season since 2001-02) might make some think I would give up on my beloved Knicks and become a Trailblazers follower. It could be tempting to change ships, especially with recent local Portland headlines like ,"Blazers roll Hornets, go 7-0 at home."
"Marbury has disputed the Knicks' allegation that he refused to play Wednesday, telling the New York Post: "I never told [coach Mike D'Antoni] I'm not going to play. Those words never came out of my mouth. That's insubordination."
Walsh, in a statement announcing the suspension on Friday, said: "A player's central obligation is to provide his professional services when called upon. Because he refused the coach's request to play in the team's last game, we had no choice but to impose disciplinary action."Later Friday in an interview with NBC News 4 New York's Bruce Beck, Marbury said there was no jersey in his locker in Detroit, and he was "shocked" he was "suspended for no reason."
I used to root for both the Knicks and the Trailblazers. But that was before Paul Allen fired many long time Blazer employees, including their iconic radio announcer Bill Schonely. Can you imagine the Los Angelers Lakers firing the late Chick Hearn, who announced Lakers games from 1965 until his death in 2002? There's no turning back. I won't root for the Blazers again. Besides. I've been a Knicks fan since before the Trailblazers existed. You gotta stick with your guys.
But the Knicks banishment of Marbury is another step in the right direction. They put Isiah Thomas on ice, still paying him but giving him no responsibilities. They've permanently benched Stephon Marbury and Eddie Curry. They've made future room under the salary cap by getting rid of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. With ample room under their salary cap, Knicks fans can look forward to 2010, when the free agent store shelves will include Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tyson Chandler, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Redd.
My Knicks will be back. Maybe not this season, or the next. But we're on the way back.