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Old 01-01-2005, 01:18 PM   #1
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Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

STEPH: I'M THE BEST

By MARC BERMAN
January 1, 2005 -- Stephon Marbury's game is soaring, as is his confidence. In adding another spark to the Nets-Knicks rivalry while risking lighting a fire under Jason Kidd, Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.
With Kidd and Vince Carter invading the Garden tonight, the first of the New Year, Marbury was asked the same old comparison questions about Kidd. Usually he brushes them off. But on New Year's Eve, Marbury celebrated with a boast, not a toast.

"Don't get me wrong, I love Jason Kidd, he is a great point guard," Marbury said. "[But] how am I comparing myself to him when I think I'm the best point guard to play basketball? That makes no sense. I can't compare myself to somebody when I already think I'm the best. "

"I'm telling you what it is. I know I'm the best point guard in the NBA. I don't need nobody else to tell me that. When I go on the basketball court, if I start to think about what you all think, I'll lose my mind. You should've asked me, 'Are you the best point guard in the NBA, then?' and I'll tell you, 'Yeah.' "

Marbury's braggadocio comes at a time when he has led the Knicks to the top of the Atlantic Division at 16-13 while the Nets are down, trying to adjust on the fly to Carter. Tonight's showdown will be a fascinating one, as Carter flies into the Garden for the first time since Rod Thorn beat out Isiah Thomas in the Carter sweepstakes. The Nets are 1-2 with Carter. The Knicks, meanwhile, have won three straight and try to reach four games above .500 for the first time since 2001.

"It's a lot for the fans, for the media," Allan Houston said. "It is a cross-town matchup that makes it more interesting. But we're three games over .500 and trying to expand, that's what our focus is on."

The Marbury-Kidd rivalry will be there forever. They were swapped for each other three seasons ago, Kidd coming to Jersey, Marbury to Phoenix. The Nets soared to two straight Finals.

Marbury has the physical tools to be the best PG in the game. He has strength and quickness that lead to furious penetrations, and shoots remarkably well from the perimeter. But he still must prove he has the heart to lead a team to wins in the playoffs as Kidd has.

At 27, Marbury is four years younger than Kidd, who's returning from microfracture surgery. At this moment, no one is playing the point better than Marbury, except for perhaps Steve Nash of Phoenix and Dwyane Wade of Miami.

When the topic was broached with Marbury yesterday, prefaced with, "I know you don't like comparison questions," he retorted, "Who says I don't like them? Jason Kidd and me are two different players. It's not the same thing. You can't compare both of us. We play nothing alike. We play totally different. A lot of people play the same position. You may feel he's better. Another person may feel different."



The Knicks' coaching staff is delighted Marbury is playing as ferociously on both ends. He was in a defensive stupor until recently, getting chastised in a private talk with Isiah Thomas. Marbury knows he had not given the same energy defensively because he expends so much on offense.

"The whole staff has chastised him, not just one person," Lenny Wilkens said. "We encouraged and got after him. If you can take the challenge of a Steve Francis [Monday in Orlando], you can take the challenge of any guy. It will certainly take a toll. You've got to trust I can get you some rest and know where to rest you."

Meanwhile, Marbury is well behind in All-Star balloting, fifth among Eastern point guards, behind Allen Iverson, Wade, Kidd and Francis.

"I don't care about that," Marbury said. "It doesn't matter to me. When I was younger playing an All-Star Game, it was a big thing. As long as I'm playing come April for the championship."

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Old 01-01-2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

RJ SAYS JASON'S THE MAN

By FRED KERBER
January 1, 2005 -- NET NOTES

The Nets heard about Stephon Marbury proclaiming himself the best point guard in the NBA. They smiled politely and acknowledged that Marbury is having a great year. Then, having seen Jason Kidd up close and having played against both Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade this season, they politely sidestepped the lunacy.

"Yeah, I agree with him because Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade and all those guys really haven't done anything," said Richard Jefferson, Marbury's teammate on the bronze medal Olympic team.

Jefferson, though, acknowledged the level Marbury has achieved this season.

"Steph is right there. It's pick your poison," Jefferson said. "You've got Dwyane Wade, who has Shaq on his team. You have Steve Nash, who has all those guys running around, and Steph has been playing great. So I don't want you guys to just write the bad parts, the [sarcastic] remark I just put in."

"JKidd is still getting his legs under him. The last time I checked, if he had scored a few points he'd have triple-doubles in his last two games. That's pretty impressive considering he's only playing 32, 34 minutes a night. He hasn't lost much of a step. He's still getting his flow back."

Coach Lawrence Frank, a monster Kidd supporter, wanted no part of the controversy. "I don't get into that. I've got a high level of respect for Steph. I had an opportunity to coach Steph. He's a great player. Obviously, we're biased but I don't get into a war of words on hearsay."

Kidd, 31, an Olympic gold medalist, two-time NBA Finalist, seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA first teamer, three-time All Defense first-teamer, and five-time assist champion, left without commenting yesterday.

Vince Carter MIGHT consider a dunk contest again — if he feels 100 percent. Admitting he has a few dunks no one has seen and none have tried, Carter said he'd think about it only if he were 100 percent healthy. "Who knows? I look at it if I'm going to do it I want to do it to the best of my ability, 100 percent," said Carter, the 2000 dunk champ.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Right now I gotta say Steve Nash is the best PG in the NBA.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

With Kidd still recovering from injury, that just might be true.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:30 PM   #5
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zappa55
Right now I gotta say Steve Nash is the best PG in the NBA.

I definitely agree.
 
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Steph was the best point god in the league befoore AI went back to playing the position.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Even though Im a dedicated knicks fan, I gotta say that Nash is the best right now, but Starbury is second imo.
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Old 01-01-2005, 02:02 PM   #8
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebby
I definitely agree.

Only problem with Steve is he cant guard anyone, but neither can Jason. All around PG in the League I would go with Nash, but his lack of defense kills me.
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Old 01-01-2005, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fierce2k4
Even though Im a dedicated knicks fan, I gotta say that Nash is the best right now, but Starbury is second imo.
Even though Nash plays zero defense?
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Old 01-01-2005, 02:20 PM   #10
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Re: Stephon Marbury said yesterday he believes he's the best point guard in the NBA.

For those of you that have seen Tinsley play, I would like to hear a scouting report on him. How good do you think he is?
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