GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -The New York Knicks needed Stephon Marbury to play, then suspended him a game and docked him nearly $400,000 in salary after claiming he refused.
The disgruntled guard insisted Friday he never told coach Mike D'Antoni ``no'' and plans to appeal.
Marbury's tenure with the Knicks might be over before an appeal is filed. The New York Post reported Saturday Marbury, Knicks president Donnie Walsh and players' association lawyer Hal Biagas are set to meet Monday to try and reach a buyout agreement.
Of course I want something resolved,'' Marbury told the paper. ``I want to go forward.''
D'Antoni wouldn't go into specifics of their conversation that took place before Wednesday's loss in Detroit, though he made it clear he asked the point guard to play because the Knicks were short-handed.
I think I already told you, I asked him to play. We just asked. You're a coach, and we needed him to play,'' D'Antoni said after practice Friday. ``So I don't really have a whole lot to say. There's nothing I can say right now. I've already said the piece and what I said from my viewpoint is what happened. So we'll just leave it at that.''
Marbury will not be paid when he sits out Saturday's home game against Golden State and will lose an additional game's pay for Wednesday's actions. He earns about $21 million in salary this year, drawing about $190,000 a game.
Marbury was not at the team's practice facility Friday.
``A player's central obligation is to provide his professional services when called upon,'' Walsh said in a statement. ``Because he refused the coach's request to play in the team's last game, we had no choice but to impose disciplinary action.''
Walsh was in Indiana for the holiday but is expected to address the issue before Saturday's game.
Marbury told NBC's Bruce Beck in an interview Friday there wasn't even a jersey in his locker in Detroit and he was ``shocked'' he was ``suspended for no reason.''
Marbury added he and D'Antoni spoke Wednesday morning and ``basically went our separate ways.''
ension, which I basically got suspended anyway.''
The punishment likely accelerates a divorce between the Knicks and their one-time star, days after Marbury apparently could have resurrected his career. The Post reported Thursday that D'Antoni, after a number of changes to the roster, offered Marbury the opportunity to be the team's starting shooting guard the rest of the season - which D'Antoni didn't deny.
``That might have come up somewhere,'' he said of the offer.
It's the second time in two years the Knicks docked Marbury pay for not playing in a game. Last year, he skipped a loss in Phoenix after a dispute with Isiah Thomas, but contended his former coach gave him permission to leave.
This time, Marbury maintains he never refused an order.
``I'm not going to get into order, not order,'' D'Antoni said. ``I think I've already said what happened and he said what happened, and now we'll just let it play. And like I said, it's a regrettable situation for everybody and nobody wants to be in this spot, but we'll play it out to the best of our ability.''
The players' association plans to file a grievance on Marbury's behalf. Although Marbury said his preference was not to play, ``he made it clear he was not refusing to play,'' according to a players' association official who requested anonymity because the appeals process had not yet begun.
,'' Marbury, speaking before the suspension, said in Friday's Post. ``If he said I have to play, guess what, I'm going to get on the court and play, period. If I refuse to play, I'm getting suspended. I never told him I'm not going to play. Those words never came out of my mouth. That's insubordination.''
Marbury briefly played for D'Antoni in Phoenix before he was traded to New York nearly five years ago. He told the Post he doesn't trust the coach, who hasn't played him at all this season.
``I wouldn't trust him to walk my dog across the street,'' Marbury said.
Marbury feuded with past Knicks coaches Larry Brown and Thomas, and there was speculation the team would release him before D'Antoni opened his first training camp in New York. However, the sides have been unable to work out an agreement over money.
Marbury has repeatedly said he refuses to negotiate a buyout, believing he's entitled to all the money left on his contract - though he told Beck he offered to give back $1 million. The Knicks have balked at paying that, so Marbury remains on the roster, coming to practices and games but mostly remaining on the inactive roster because he's not in D'Antoni's plans.
``I didn't create this,'' Marbury told the Post. ``I'm sitting inside the car. I'm not behind the wheel in the driver's seat.''
But D'Antoni has twice asked Marbury to play. After two trades last week, Marbury suited up at Milwaukee so the Knicks could have the league-mandated eight players in uniform, but he declined to play. At the time, D'Antoni said he wasn't angry and didn't consider the decision insubordination.
On Wednesday, however, guards Nate Robinson and Cuttino Mobley were unavailable, again leaving the Knicks with seven healthy players, but Marbury was not in uniform. Knicks forward Quentin Richardson ripped Marbury after the game, telling reporters, ``I don't look at him as a teammate because teammates don't do that.''
Neither Richardson nor D'Antoni knew if Marbury would still be around next week, or if his Knicks career was finally over.
``I don't know. I'm not even there,'' D'Antoni said. ``If he is, he is, and we'll deal with anything that happens but that's not up to me right now.''

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