Has Starbury Been Replaced by Plain Old Marbury?

The Celtics are still looking for a reliable backup to Rajon Rondo for the 2009-10 season, but one name that remains a possibility should only be considered as an absolute last resort. That name is Stephon Marbury.

It's hard to say Marbury had a positive influence on the Celtics last season. Then again, it's hard to say he had a negative one, either. At least not the type of negative impact he had on the Knicks during his final days in New York. But that doesn't mean Marbury still doesn't have some tricks up his sleeve if he does decide to have a second go-around with the Celtics this fall.

After turning down the veteran minimum of $1.3 million from the C’s — and with other teams not exactly jumping at the chance to have the much-maligned point guard on their roster — Marbury is quickly running out of NBA options. The only other choice would be to take his game to Europe. However, that drastic of a move doesn’t appear to be imminent for Starbury as of right now.

It would have been interesting to see Marbury's role with the Celtics last season had the team been at full health and not completely depleted by injuries. And it would have been interesting to see how he fit into Doc Rivers' plan had Kevin Garnett's season-ending injury not crippled the Celtics' postseason dreams. But there is a chance Celtics fans might get to see how that story plays out during the upcoming season.

The Stephon Marbury the Celtics picked up last season was not exactly what they thought they would be getting in the former star. His skills looked diminished during the majority of his playing time with the C’s, though there were the flashes of brilliance from the old Marbury.  But for the most part, one of the most self-centered, selfish players in recent memory suddenly looked scared to shoot in wide-open situations, deciding for once to not make the game about him when in fact he had some perfect opportunities to do just that.

Maybe Marbury never fully adjusted to the Celtics’ system during his brief stint with the team, or maybe he never fully got his game back after sitting out for an extended period of time. But whatever the reason, Marbury was not the same player the Celtics thought they would be getting when they decided to bring him aboard, and there is no guarantee they will receive that player this time, either.

If the Stephon Marbury who became a superstar in the NBA still exists, it would certainly be worth it for some team to take a flyer on him for a low price. But if the superstar Marbury still exists, then so does the baggage that drove him out of his hometown of New York City. And with the Celtics built for another title run, bringing back the troublesome Marbury is just a recipe for disaster.

Who’s hot?
Austin Ainge, the son of Danny Ainge, was hired as the first head coach of the Maine Red Claws, the Trail Blazers' new D-League team. Ainge is a former assistant at Southern Utah University.

Who’s not?

Former Celtic Antoine Walker was led out of Harrah’s Casino in handcuffs with $822,500 of debt to his name. Walker failed to pay $1 million owed in markers to various casinos, creating a sad story for a former star.

Quote of the week

“No, I’m not the best player in the NBA. Kobe Bryant is the best player. I don’t care about the NBA. Those days are over with.”
–Stephon Marbury, during a live chat online, on who the best player in the NBA is

What to watch for
With Marquis Daniels committed to signing with the Celtics, it looks like Brian Scalabrine will be on his way out. If true, the fan favorite had a good run with the C’s and was a reliable defender down the stretch last season.

Yardbarker

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