Thursday, March 05, 2009
Ask BoL: The End is Truly the Beginning
Dear BoL: Stephon Marbury is the picture of all this is godless and wrong with the earth. fuck the celtics.
Ryan D. (cavs fan)
Ryan: Technicaly, this is not a question, but off I go anyway. I took a good, hard look at myself in the philosophical mirror yesterday and asked myself, truly, what I thought of Stephon Marbury in Celtics duds. Know what I thought? Nothing. Nothing at all. It's not that I can't muster up feelings for the dude-- positive or negative-- it's just that any team that hands themselves over to the will and wont of a championship must forever stare into the face of the void and have the void stare back. The only way for Eddie House to reamin a two-guard in the second unit was to have a ballhandler that was, apparently, not Gabe Pruitt.
Philosophically, Stephon Marbury is everything my dad hates-- the skills of a brilliant madman with the tattoos and resumes of a high-school gang member hanging out near a rec center. Sure, the requisite whitebred response is immediately, "Shit, man. That guy's an asshole." I've even said it in my day. But weeks ago, i said, while sober, that I'd be happy to have Marbury on the roster. Why? Becuase, at best, he is a Steve Blake kind of problem-solver off of the bench. If Rondo is the creative master of the first unit, then Marbury is the cordial host of an after-party-- dancing with all comers without making any mistakes as to who is with whom.
At worst, he is a failed experiment that is benched in the playoffs (see Cassell, Sam in LA) and the Celtics lose a few bucks and MAYBE a night's sleep. That's it. This isn't a trade for Jason Kidd two years removed from the finals, or getting an old, expensive Shaq on the fastest team alive. This isn't MJ coming back either. It's a backup point-guard on a roster of forwards and two-guards. How can this hurt? Sure, my dad is pissed, but I'm sure that if the Celtics get to the Finals, I'll be regaled with "Marbury really shook off his demons, didn't he?"
The purest form of basketball is still played with wonton disregard to who passes to whom or what happened in the timeouts. Deliver the ball to the right people to make shots. Period. Marbury can do that, becuase the people around him won't deal with failure. Except maybe Glen Davis. Am I selling my basketball soul? I say, quite the opposite. Steph's fall from grace was well documented, and now, Celts-willing, his first gainful steps will be too. His countenance may never overshadow his legacy, but it will add to the remarkable story that many can't seem to want to stop hearing.
I'll listen, Steph. I will. And I, for one, think it will be worth it.