Is Marbury a Loser?

by Dax-Devlon Ross

Good to see the Marbury piece sparked some thoughtful rejoinders. Check this out

April 2nd, 2007

by Brian Maniscalco

Stephon Marbury has the skills, stats, and salary of a star. Nonetheless, he is perceived by many to be a loser. This greater perception of Marbury-As-Loser is likely formed in part by a constellation of subsidiary perceptions, such as the perception that Marbury is selfish (especially if you are a point guard purist), the perception that he has a poor attitude (especially if you consider wearing a towel on one’s head to be an indicator of poor attitude), and the perception that he is a poor teammate (especially if you’re into the tabloids). Probably the biggest factor in his losing rep, though, is just the fact that in his 10 seasons in the NBA, Marbury’s teams have finished in the lottery 6 times and have never won more than 45 games. In the 4 seasons where Marbury’s teams qualified for the playoffs, they failed to advance past the first round.

All else being equal, that history of futility at the team level could be construed as pretty damning. In fact, it comes off worse than just that. Jason Kidd and Steve Nash both managed to immediately elevate teams that faltered with Marbury just a season before, making it seem as if the team success was there for the taking all along, just waiting for a competent point guard to unleash it. Likewise, the fact that Marbury’s spotty team success has been distributed over four tours of duty in four different cities makes it seem as if the losing is a trend more readily attributable to the player than to his various teams.

However, closer inspection of Marbury’s career reveals numerous counterpoints to the above lines of reasoning. A thorough, season-by-season laundry list of objections one could raise to the traditional Marbury-As-Loser argument has recently been compiled by Dax-Devlon Ross. The Reader’s Digest version is that more often than not, Marbury’s teams have been either awful in terms of raw talent, or ravaged by injury, or both.

To read the rest click here