FALLOUT ON TRADE HAS GARNETT/MARBURY IN A WAR OF WORDS
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).