Ex-New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury and the potential future at the position Markelle Fultz watched the team lose on Sunday.
A former New York Knicks point guard, and a possible future one looked on as the team lost. Again. Stephon Marbury was back at Madison Square Garden to watch his old squad fall to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Another popular spectator was a top draft prospect, Markelle Fultz.
Marbury was a disaster when he was in New York. One of the most hated players in the history of the city, now he’s a star in China. The 40-year-old had plenty of positive things to say about Phil Jackson and his triangle offense.
“I actually like the triangle because it opens things up if you know how to move without the ball and you know how to cut. It all comes down to — that’s basically the game you learn when you’re in high school and you’re younger. Pass, cut. You learn that type of system. So it’s basically the fundamentals of basketball, which makes it extremely difficult to guard when you’re cutting hard and you’re making the ball move. It all depends. But you’ve got guys like [Carmelo Anthony]. He requires the ball in a certain position, in a certain spot. They knew this before they gave him all of the money that they gave him. So it’s not like you didn’t know this. You’re just trying to mix the two components together — the triangle and his style … Next year these guys will be a little more familiar with the system.”
Marbury’s attitude appears to be more positive now. Not only is he a triangle supporter, but he thinks the triangle offense and Jackson can turn things around.
Despite the fact that the Knicks are 26th in offensive rating since the All-Star break—when the team made a renewed commitment to the triangle—multiple former players have come forward in defense of Jackson and his system (via NBA.com).
Marbury was the former who hasn’t succeeded while playing for Jackson.
“It can change; it’s just going to take some commitment and some time. It’s the culture, really. You got to continue to change the culture. When you get a guy like Phil Jackson, you expect the culture to change right away and things to change right away. But ultimately it takes a lot of time. But with him as the leader, him being the person that’s making the decision, I think they’re in a great space in having somebody like that.””It can change; it’s just going to take some commitment and some time. It’s the culture, really. You got to continue to change the culture. When you get a guy like Phil Jackson, you expect the culture to change right away and things to change right away. But ultimately it takes a lot of time. But with him as the leader, him being the person that’s making the decision, I think they’re in a great space in having somebody like that.”
Marbury says his former team can “build around” the two stars.
Anthony sat out Sunday’s loss with a knee injury while Rose is out for the season after yet another injury to his knee. The status of both players for 2017-18 is up in the air.
“No, I don’t think that he should seek a new home. He should allow the situation to go the way how the situation is going to go. I think, from what he’s said and what I’ve read, that he wants to play basketball here. They have to continue to build around him, Derrick Rose. You have two key guys that are really talented players. They’re not old. They still have a lot inside of them. So I think if he felt like it was time for him to make a decision, I think he would have said that by now. … He understands if he wins what it will be like here. Sometimes you’ve got to go through the tough times and all of the dark times in order to get to the light.”
Markelle Fultz was at the Knicks game“just to see the way they play.” Per Begley, Fultz would be comfortable playing in the triangle too.
“I think I could play in any system,” he said. “I’m very versatile, so it was cool to see that. It’s a lot of openings and stuff like that, so that’s why I came to see that in person.”
That’s either a confident young player saying the right thing or he believe that he can play in the triangle. The chances of the Knicks ending up with a top five pick are slim.
Fultz shouldn’t fall outside of the top three.
- Toronto Raptors 110 (50-31)
- New York Knicks 97 (30-51)
- NBA, Final, Box Score
- Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York
The Raptors are going to the playoffs, and the Knicks aren’t. A win for the Raptors is a good thing, and a loss for the Knicks is a good thing. With only one game remaining in the season both teams have their immediate futures set.
Sunday was a perfect example of that. The Knicks sat their two best players (Anthony and Porzingis) while the Raptors’ top guns (DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry) played a combined 67 minutes and scored a total of 52 points.
The Knicks were only down a point entering the fourth quarter after having the lead at halftime. They fell apart on defense in the final 12 minutes, allowing the Raptors to make 13 of their 19 FGAs.
Up Next: The season finale is at home on Wednesday, April 12, at 8:30 p.m. vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.