Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Celtics Land Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore (SOLID)

If you follow hoops then you have probably heard rumors for about 2 months now(!!!) that the Boston Celtics were considering signing Stephon Marbury if his contract was ever bought out by the Knicks.  It has finally happened and Marbury should be signed by the Celtics as early as Friday.  Nice!
For some reason, Marbury did not see eye to eye with new Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni or GM Donnie Walsh so he chose to sit the entire season and has not played in an NBA game in over a year.  Even before these new guys came on board, Marbury was already starting to fall out of favor with the Knicks organization and fans because of his attitude and selfish play.  I don't know what happened to the dude but he has been a little on the crazy side these past few years.  There have been a ton of interviews with him acting all crazy talking about wanting to play in Italy or answering his cellphone while on live TV and strange things like that.  He even got a tattoo of his Starbury brand on the side of his head.  Good branding but weird.  That's Mike Tyson level crazy!!!  
My take on this whole situation is that it's worth the risk for the Celtics.  His huge contract will be handled by the Knicks so the Celtics can just sign him for the veterans minimum (I believe) pro-rated for the rest of the season.  If he messes up and causes chemistry problems or just isn't the player he once was then the Celtics can cut him and not be out too much money.  It's going to be an experiment but it could work.  Even though it's a big risk, the potential payoff seems pretty huge.

If he shows even a flash of his former self, he will help this team compete for a title once again.  All he has to do is come in and run the point on the second team and fill in for Rondo when he is in foul trouble or having a bad night.  It will be nice to have a real PG on the second squad so that Eddie House can move to his more comfortable position of SG and get open for threes more easily.

When he does play with any combination of the Big 3, I think he will quickly realize that he has some big guns to feed the ball to and won't be so worried about getting his shots or points.  The Knicks have been a joke for the past few years and they were working with a me first attitude which Marbury got caught up in.  If he actually has some real scoring options like Garnett, Allen and Pierce, I see no reason why he wouldn't love setting the table for those guys and showing he can still play in this league.  He has to like it or he is done

The Big 3 are all strong and vocal veterans so there is no way they are going to allow Marbury to act like a clown and mess up their chemistry and hard work from over the past 2 seasons.  I think he will get that and will understand this may be his only shot at getting a championship.  This might also be his only shot at landing a new contract for the future because if he messes this up, he will probably be out of the league soon.  Most teams are questioning his mental status and basketball abilities.  He doesn't need much more motivation than that.

Garnett and Marbury played together in Minnesota and they were a dynamic duo early in their careers.  Marbury was young and stupid and got jealous at Garnett's humongous $100+ million contract and felt he was worth the same money, if not more.  When the Timberwolves did not want to pay him, he decided it would be best to leave town.  Dumb move.  He probably realizes by now that he really messed up a bad thing and should have never left.  Those two could have been the building block for a championship team for years had he stayed with KG and Minnesota.

Garnett is one of the more vocal guys in the league and I am sure he will get in Marbury's ear when it is needed.  They were best friends back in the day and this will be the perfect opportunity to reconcile that relationship by working together to win a championship like they were supposed to do almost a decade ago.  
In less dramatic news, the Celtics also signed F Mikki Moore.  He is a solid veteran that can help fill some holes and can provide some much needed height down low.  The guy is a hustler and can score in bunches.  His defense is lacking but he defintiely works hard and can create a lot of charges.  I think he will fit in perfectly with this team and he will surprise a lot of people that probably have never heard of him.  He's not bad at all. 
The one disturbing thing about him is that when I did a search for some pictures of him, 3 of the first 10 photos were of him holding a snake.  That's a little weird but I can deal with it.  Everyone has their quirks.  Just get the job done on the floor and I'm happy.   Tommy Heinson is going to LOVE this guy too.  I guarantee it.
The C's are looking good for the stretch run to the playoffs and beyond.  I definitely like their chances for the title once again.  I am starting to get all fired up again.


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