PHOENIX (AP) -Stephon Marbury missed the New York Knicks shootaround Tuesday, and coach Isiah Thomas said he was uncertain whether the guard would show up for Tuesday night's game against the Phoenix Suns.
``That is an in-house matter, and we'll continue to keep it in-house,'' Thomas said when asked why Marbury went missing. ``However, he is welcome back, and we want him as a member of this team.''
The Daily News quoted an unidentified team source as saying Marbury was upset when he learned he would not be in the starting lineup.
Marbury's absence followed a story in Tuesday's New York Daily News indicating the Knicks were trying to reduce his role or get rid of him. A trade seems unlikely, because Marbury is scheduled to earn $42 million over the next two seasons.
``We hope to see him tonight,'' Thomas said. ``However, if he is not, make no mistake about it, we do want him as a member of this basketball team.''
Thomas said this was not the first time this kind of incident has happened.
``It seems like he and I go through this every November, then a couple of weeks go by and we kind of kiss and make up, then we go back to the business of trying to win basketball games.''

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