Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stephon Marbury: the face of workmanship

I still remember my first day of work like it was eight months ago-- a wet behind the ears, fresh-face college kid on the threshold of journalistic success. I was more than on my way.

Somebody pinch me. Writing for the Verona-Cedar Grove Times seemed like an impossible reality. I grew up in New Jersey, so to be back in my home state after a brief stint in Ithaca, NY writing for all of my fans was a dream come true.

After showing up on day-one, I wasted no time in alienating my co-workers.

"I am the best writer in this office," I boldly announced. "By the way, my name is Steve," I said as I pulled my Ninja Turtles lunch box out of my black Italian leather Simpsons brief case.

After only a few days in the office, however, it was clear for one reason or another that my co-workers were not particularly fond of me. A public feud with my senior editor further divided the break room and it wasn't long before trade rumors began to surface (the Verona-Cedar Grove Times reportedly tried to send me to the Montclair Times in return for cold cuts and office supplies--the Montclair Times rejected).

So I finished out the high school football season and waited to field offers from other newspapers-- none came. I subsequently fired my agent and deleted my account on Monster.com.

An aura of hope surrounded my return to the office as I headed into the basketball season.

That's before I sexually harassed my editorial assistant.

"I thought you said you wanted to be a star," I said to her, caressing her knee in the back of my Hyundai.

A media circus ensued and my reputation as a sports writer was quickly deteriorating.

On December 24, 2008, the North Jersey Media Group signed a new senior editor to take the place of my former editor. It didn't take long for my new boss to make his intentions clear-- the Times was heading in a new direction.

"It's not fair to ask a writer of Steve's caliber to do spot writing," my boss told reporters. I was thus relegated to the bench.

"We want Schim" chants from my fans had no impact on my boss, and the bench is where I remained for the rest of the season before being released with the opportunity to sign with other newspapers.

Oops. I always get myself confused with former New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury. Terrible habit, I know. If nothing else, however, my confusion does provide enlightenment for the few remaining Steph fans out there-- and believe me, there are plenty.

First, let me ask you Starbury fans, did you eat glue as a kid? I just need to gather some background information on your past before I can properly diagnose the various mental disorders hindering your ability to view things as a fully functional human being. Also, are your parents related in any way (is your mom also your aunt)?

As we've done in the past, let's look at Starbury's track record in New York. After several LOSING seasons, he told reporters that he was the best point guard in the league (remember when my co-workers got pissed off at me for saying I was the best writer in the office). After Marbury's bold statement, the Knicks went on a losing streak of titanic proportions.

Marbury publicly feuded with Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkins, Tim Thomas, Quentin Richardson, Kurt Thomas, and every other leader thrown into the Knick locker room.

Oh, and remember when Steph sexually harassed New York Knicks intern Kathleen Decker?

Truth is, aside from the fact that Steph has always been a loser (the one playoff appearance throughout his entire NBA tenure came in 2004 during his first season as a Knick), he is a bad worker. Is it acceptable for a reporter to sexually violate his assistant, alienate his co-workers and fight with his bosses? Why then, amongst you Steph fans anyway, is it OK for him to commit such unprofessional acts (all while losing games I might add)?

Not that winning games would make Marbury's behavior any more appropriate, but he never did. So to those of you who have said Head Coach Mike D'Antoni is at fault for not even trying to use his star point guard, let me ask you this: why would he? Marbury has been here since 2004 and he has never experienced a winning season. OK, he's talented, but clearly, talent is not getting the Knicks wins. D'Antoni made it clear that this was a new era for the orange and blue when he sat Steph. Throwing him into the mix would only result in more of the same.

So to you Knick fans upset with the way D'Antoni handled the Marbury situation and angry with his exile to Bean Town--why don't you just move to Boston, throw on a Kevin Youkilis jersey and root for the Celtics? WAKE UP!

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