GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -Stephon Marbury played the second half of New York's loss to Phoenix on Sunday night unaware his father had been taken to a hospital, where he died before the game ended.
Don Marbury was taken from Madison Square Garden to St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center during halftime, reportedly because of chest pains, but a family member advised a Knicks official not to inform Stephon Marbury at the time.
Stephon Marbury learned of his father's death from a family friend minutes after the game.
``It's a terrible thing that happened to him and his family last night,'' Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said Monday after practice. ``For any parent watching their son or daughter perform, and to have something like that happen, anyone who has kids would sympathize with the son and you also sympathize with the family.''
Thomas seemed a bit emotional while speaking for less than 5 minutes, and wouldn't discuss how long Stephon Marbury would be gone. Last month, forward Zach Randolph missed three games following the death of his grandmother.
``We as a family, the Knicks family, we'll give him all the support and try to be there for him and his family through this terrible time,'' Thomas said. ``We just went through it with Zach and his family.''
Marbury has endured an especially difficult time, on and off the court. He has been booed at home since skipping a game in Phoenix following a clash with Thomas, and an aunt died last month.
``I can feel his pain,'' Randolph said. ``It's been a tough year on him, I feel real sorry for him and his family. Fans booing him, and his father passed during the game. It's tough for him right now.
``He lost his auntie a couple of weeks after I lost my grandma, so it's tough.''
The day after the aunt's death, Marbury said his mother had lost eight siblings in the last five years, adding that ``my mother's a mess right now.'' Don and Mabel Marbury had five sons and twin daughters.
The Knicks play Wednesday in New Jersey, without a clear solution at point guard if Marbury hasn't returned. Reserve Mardy Collins didn't play Sunday because of a sprained left ankle, and Thomas hasn't used Nate Robinson in either of the last two games.
``We'll continue to remain strong within the team and stay together,'' Thomas said.
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