Friday, November 28, 2008

Marbury & Iverson Absences

Recent news from the NBA has surrounded two guards who many view as troubled superstars, looking to get on the right track. Iverson has been in the spotlight once again for another "practice" related incident. He missed a team practice Thanksgiving morning but issued a public apology statement saying it won't happen again. Iverson is not the Iverson of past who wouldn't care about missing practice, or apologize. His famous "practice..we talkin' bout practice?" highlight continues to be a favorite of ESPN, Fox Sports and Best Damn Sports Show Period. However, this is a more mature and committed to winning Iverson. He's in a much better environment for team winning and he's already made that known. Also, skipping a team practice is definitely not tolerated, but it's not as bad as missing actual games.

On the other hand is a player who hasn't played yet this season, even though he's physically able to. Stephon Marbury was suspended and fined for refusing to play for the Knicks this past Wednesday against Iverson's Pistons. Marbury had been specifically asked to play by his coach Mike D'Antoni. It seems to be a war of words as well, with Marbury saying he never told Coach D'Antoni he wouldn't play, simply that given a choice he'd prefer not to. Then again, it is the Knicks who recently decided they wanted Marbury's services upon trading away Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph. But to his discredit, Marbury was having similar player-coach issues last season with Isiah in town. This may be a carryover from last season's dismal New York team, or it may just be Marbury's personality. No matter what, it's clear one player wants to play and give his current team his all, while the other is riding the bench for a million dollar salary.

More on Marbury's issues in New York at Newsday.

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