Paul Grenada

Type Stephon Marbury highlights onto the youtube.com search bar.

Click on one of the videos near the top, and watch. You will see an aggressive, quick, determined scorer who could handle the ball like it was attached to a string and do crazy tricks with it like a circus clown, except with a meaner face.

There was a time when people used his name in the same breath as Allen Iverson’s. Debating which guard was harder to defend. Iverson the super-fast, long armed phenom from Virginia that made the greatest of all time look like a bum in a schoolyard. Marbury the short stocky Brooklyn boy who pounded the ball at you until he decided to muscle past you towards the rim, or dish off to a young Kevin Garnett, or Keith Van Horn (when Van Horn wasn’t hurt)

Now look at Marbury on the Celtics.

Is that the same guy?

He passes up open jumpers, passing to teammates who don’t expect the ball to come their way, except for Eddie House who thinks the ball is always coming his way.

There is no aggression in his game, no hunger to prove his point. I can recall him saying he was the best point guard in the game. Oozing Coney Island bravado you can only get growing up in Brooklyn.

It looks as if whenever he touches the ball he feels like apologizing for getting in the way. It the last Celtics-Bulls game, Marbury is open behind the arc, no one close to getting into his face, he passes the ball off the a surprised teammate who that shoots a hurried air-ball that turns into points on the other end. Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose are abusing him when they have to guard him, while averaging almost one shot per game.

Who are you, you evil doppelganger and what have you done with the real Starbury?

Was it the benching the Knicks’ management? Did it take his confidence from him; stop him from being the player we know he can be. He showed no signs of slowing down at the end of last season. Granted he showed signs of being tired of Isiah Thomas, but even Isiah got tired of Isiah. Marbury’s physical skills were still on par with most of the league.

It seems to be a mental block. Maybe he needs Doc Rivers to tell him it’s ok to cut loose. Which is what I expected when Ray Allen fouled out. Maybe he needs KG out there to recapture lost glory. Maybe he needs to see Jay-Z in the crowd to remind him of that half a bar in a rap song Jay used to insult him.

I don’t know.

Somebody figure it out before one of Brooklyn’s finest becomes a joke in the pages of NBA history.