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FALLOUT ON TRADE HAS GARNETT/MARBURY IN A WAR OF WORDS
Published March 15, 1999
New Nets G Stephon Marbury was interviewed by Bob Costas during halftime of Sunday's Nets-Heat game on NBC and said his trade from the T-Wolves last week was a "business" move. Marbury: "I wanted to be happy. You can't knock a person for wanting to be happy and wanting to go home." But NBC's Peter Vecsey said afterward, "It's not about coming home. If he said that -- if he told us that it was about endorsements and recognition -- we would understand that, but he's trying to tell us its about coming home and that's not it" ("NBA on NBC," 3/14). In his Sunday column, Vecsey quoted Suns F Tom Gugliotta saying that Marbury "couldn't take being overshadowed" by teammate Kevin Garnett in Minnesota. Gugliotta: "All Stephon talked about was going home to New York and playing in a major market so he could get the publicity and promotions he feels he's being cheated out of." Vecsey, who called David Falk "David Fungus," wrote that, "Somebody in the Marbury clan ought to ask [Falk] how many lucrative national endorsements he brain stormed (trickle, trickle) for Patrick Ewing" (N.Y. POST, 3/14). Garnett acknowledged that Marbury may have been jealous of his $126 contract. Garnett: "I know Stephon. I know we're always in competition with each other, whether it's basketball, girls, jewelry. I thought that was just having fun" (Steve Aschburner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/13). MONEY FALKS: In NJ, John Rowe wrote that Nets co-Owner Lewis Katz, who was "the front man" in the Marbury trade, "has long been friendly with Falk, often sitting next to him" at 76ers home games (Bergen RECORD, 3/13). In Chicago, Sam Smith wrote that Falk "had been telling associates he intended to overturn the new [CBA's] emphasis on helping protect the small markets by directing his clients" to L.A., N.Y., and Chicago. Smith: "Falk has been trying to consolidate his clients in certain cities so he'll have leverage" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/14). In Dallas, Bart Hubbuch wrote that "greed, immaturity and agent David Falk -- and not necessarily in that order -- combined to give the NBA a huge black eye," as Falk continues to tell teams that his clients, "regardless of the new salary limits, won't re-sign with them and that they had better trade those players." Hubbuch: "Forget loyalty, the fans or the future of small-market teams around the league" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/14). ESPN's Mike Lupica, on Falk's influence in the deal: "He brokered this whole thing. For this week, the New Jersey Nets let an agent be their general manager" ("The Sports Reporters," 3/14). Magic Senior VP Pat Williams: "Let's face it. David Falk swings a big, big stick in this league. I don't know whether he's got too much [power] but he's a very influential force in the game. There's no question" ("Fox on Sports," 3/14). YOU SCRATCH MY BACK: In St. Paul, Charley Walters wrote that according to "insiders," Falk, who was "appreciative" of the T'Wolves for "not balking" at the Marbury deal, told team Owner Glen Taylor that "he wouldn't forget the assistance and someday would reciprocate" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/14). CAL CANNED: The Nets fired Nets VP/coach John Calipari this morning. In N.Y., Fred Kerber writes that Calipari was "been given the option of resigning with compensation" by team owners, but if he does that he would "forfeit some of the money owed to him contractually" (N.Y. POST, 3/15).