NEW YORK (AP) -New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh said Stephon Marbury's situation has ``spiraled down,'' but provided no solution Saturday for how the team will part ways with the disgruntled point guard.
Walsh suspended Marbury for the game against Golden State because the Knicks said Marbury refused to play Wednesday night in a loss at Detroit. The Knicks also docked his pay from that night, with the penalties costing Marbury nearly $400,000.
Walsh said he would probably talk to Marbury and his representation from the players' association Monday to address a stalemate that turned ugly this week. Walsh has said he's opposed to buyouts and agreed that it's difficult to trade Marbury because of his salary of approximately $21 million, but it seems obvious the Knicks have to do something soon.
``I think everybody came into it with good intentions and it hasn't worked out, so we've got to acknowledge that,'' Walsh said.
were short-handed after trades and injuries.
``I'm definitely disappointed in a refusal to play because I think that's central to a player's contract,'' Walsh said. ``There's nothing in there that says, 'You will provide your services.' It doesn't say you will play if you have the playing time you want or you like the coach or don't like the coach.' It doesn't say anything about that.''
Marbury isn't part of coach Mike D'Antoni's plans and has been on the inactive list most of the season. However, D'Antoni twice asked Marbury if would play when the Knicks faced serious numbers problems.
Marbury agreed to suit up last Friday night in Milwaukee so the Knicks would have the league-mandated eight players in uniform, but declined D'Antoni's offer before the game to take some available minutes.
D'Antoni and Walsh didn't feel that was insubordination, but Walsh believed he had to act this time, when Marbury turned D'Antoni down after guards Nate Robinson and Cuttino Mobley were unavailable in the second game of a back-to-back.
The players' association plans to file a grievance because Marbury insists he never refused. However, the Knicks insist there was a difference between Marbury's decisions not to play.
y, it might be good for you.' Stephon said, `Maybe you should keep going the same direction you've been going in.' It was more of an amicable conversation.
``My understanding of this conversation was that Mike was far more definite: 'I want you to play tonight' and then Stephon said he wasn't going to play. That's the way I took it.''
Walsh, hired in April to clean up the mess the Knicks had become, is aware how bad the franchise has looked this week. Forward Quentin Richardson criticized Marbury after the Detroit game, then Marbury ripped D'Antoni in an interview with the New York Post the next day.
So Walsh is hoping the controversy can be eliminated before the Knicks play again, Tuesday night at home against Portland.
``I can't predict that,'' Walsh said. ``I hope so. That's what I'll be going to the meeting for.''

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