Monday, March 2, 2009

FU Guest Analysis: Money Mike on Starbury

To start off March, we’re treated with Fundamentally UnSound’s first Guest Post. You may remember a couple posts by my good friend Jeff Scott, but since he is allegedly a contributor to this site, those don’t count as “Guest” posts. No matter. Today’s post is from Michael “Money Mike (Copyright: Me...don't take that nickname as your own)” Benjamin, student writer for HU’s The Hilltop, and author of the blog, “Points Off Turnovers.” He’s the originator of the "Mo' Better Hoops" form/function series I link to in conjunction with my yin/yang series, and the other young superpower that relishes in analyzing Basketball’s underlying ideas as much as I do. And he can help you with life stuff, too. I’d let you readers in on some of the joint projects we have in store for the Realm of Basketball and its observers, but why spoil the surprise? Anyway, check out his analysis of Stephon Marbury. We’re both Knicks fans (You have about 15 months to laugh at that. In 2010, the tables will turn.), but he’s actually from The Big Apple (Queens); and as you will read, Marbury means something a little different to him than he does to me. Peep after the random pic…

Starbury’s Renaissance

Stephon Marbury, you will be missed.

To me, Marbury’s like the quirky uncle that everyone’s got in their family. He’s the guy in your family that always shows up to Thanksgiving dinner late, has a new girlfriend every time you see him, owns a ridiculously nice set of threads, favors an unusual set of role models, and probably knows a few guys who have had their share of run-ins with the law (or has had his own problems). Quoting Nick, the narrator of The Great Gatsby, I suggest that this uncle had such “an acute limited excellence” that everything afterward “savors of anticlimax”.

But no matter what chaos ensues with this guy, you can’t help but love him. Why? Because he’s a part of your family. He’s always bringing something to the table. He’s part of what makes your family unique.

Obviously, I’m over-generalizing, but you get the point.

To New York basketball heads, Stephon Marbury is that uncle.

You see, unlike the rest of the media, I don’t consider Stephon Marbury crazy. Sure, Stephon Marbury’s has had instances of peculiar behavior, but who hasn’t? Our world is full of head cases and eccentric personalities. But Marbury is more than that. He’s a talented basketball player, a product of media hype and his Brooklyn upbringing, and is New York City’s prodigal son.

I've witnessed Marbury's meteoric rise to stardom from the courts of Lincoln High. Honestly, we were all witnesses. His life even inspired one of the greatest basketball books of the last decade—Darcy Frey's The Last Shot.

I even saw the sadness appear on Marbury’s normally sunny disposition in the games following his father’s untimely death. Death is an inherent truth that affects us all regardless of fame and class status.

I hate how the general media has conveniently forgotten about the positive contributions that Stephon Marbury has made to American society. Seeing the rampant violence that plagued our inner cities due to the infectious disease caused by the corporate marketing of Nike’s Air Jordans, Starbury made a responsible fiscal decision to step in and try to rectify the situation. While most athletes squander their earnings on senseless goods and services, Starbury teamed with Steve and Barry’s to produce an affordable sneaker for America’s youth.

I don’t believe Marbury’s new franchise family will ever understand. Since Marbury’s in the last year of his contract, Boston Celtic fans know that he’s just passing through, so they’ll shower him with empty praise. Heck, Marbury’s being used up worse than Bridget Moynahan. In the big scheme of things, it’s probably for the best. We don’t need Celtics fans later spewing racial epithets onto our misunderstood hero. The city of Boston’s got a serious history of racial hate than most people don’t realize.

I don’t think they’ll ever fully embrace Starbury.

Since the buyout, I’ve experienced the entire stream of emotions in regards to our city’s prodigal son. Yeah, I’ve gone through my five stages of grief. I denied the fact that Starbury would don the green and white Celtics’ uniform, even though their city kept openly flirting with our much maligned superstar. I was angry when Knicks management refused to allow Starbury to participate in team activities, finally conceding that perhaps Marbury is too turbulent a personality for our young players. I was depressed after I first read of Marbury’s agreed buyout, finally realizing that he would never again wear his city’s famed colors.

Now, after seeing Stephon Marbury succeed in his first game in our northern rival’s city, I’m come to accept the fact that he’s gone. I’ll always root for Marbury because in a weird, roundabout way, Marbury represents me.

As a New Yorker, Marbury is me.

No comments: