Marbury Goes AWOL, Feuds With Thomas

Stephon Marbury left the team yesterday; future with Knicks in doubt.

ByABC News
February 12, 2009, 4:58 PM

PHOENIX, Nov. 14, 2007 — -- Stephon Marbury left the New York Knicks on Tuesday, fueling speculation that his future with the team is in doubt.

And it appears that Marbury fired a warning shot at his coach before he left.

The New York Daily News reported the trouble reportedly started during the team's flight to Phoenix, when Marbury learned from teammate Eddy Curry that coach Isiah Thomas planned to use him as a backup and start second-year guard Mardy Collins. A person close to the situation told the Daily News that Starbury reportedly marched to the front of the plane to confront Thomas over the situation, then returned five minutes later and claimed he had leverage on Thomas.

"Isiah has to start me," Marbury reportedly said, according to the Daily News. "I've got so much [stuff] on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can [get] me. But I'll [get] him first. You have no idea what I know."

The point guard reportedly sent two text messages to the New York Post saying that he had permission to leave the team in Phoenix and fly back to New York. He arrived at approximately 4 p.m.

"I have one thing to say, and that's I got permission to leave," Marbury wrote. "I would never leave my team on my own. What I'm telling you is that I got permission to leave from Isiah. He said I could go home. God bless. Peace be with you."

Marbury indicated that he would likely not join the team for Wednesday's game against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

"No, I'm not coming to LA as of now," he said.

Several area media outlets reported earlier on Tuesday that Marbury had missed the Knicks' morning practice before the game against the Suns.

Thomas would not confirm that he allowed Marbury to leave. In fact, the Knicks' coach avoided the subject altogether in his meeting with reporters before the Suns' game.

"We'll talk about the Phoenix Suns and the game at hand," he said. "Whatever matters we have in-house we'll try to keep in-house."

Thomas declined to comment on reports in the New York Daily News earlier Tuesday that Marbury's role would be "reduced" and that there had been discussions to try to move Marbury.