Thursday, August 26, 2004

Return of a king

Starbury is back!

Finally, Stephon Marbury lived up to his hype in a crucial spot. Not since those 26 points in the 1995 PSAL championship had Marbury been huge in a huge situation for his team.

Sure, he's one of a small handful of NBAers to average 20 points and 8 assists for his career, but what has he won other the Mr. New York Basketball, National High School Player of the Year and a city and state title from 1995?

Until this morning,, nothing but a few games in the NBA. Now, Marbury has won the admiration of every American who has bashed this Olympic team. The haters have no choice but to step up and embrace the man whose left arm says it all: "Coney Island's finest."

In an Olympic elimination game against Spain that could have sent shockwaves through the international scene, though more likely just the American newspapers, had the score gone the other way, Marbury shook off his disgusting 20 percent shooting and lit up Athens unlike anything Greece has seen since Zeus' thunderbolts.

When America couldn't shoot from beyond six feet, Marbury blew up downtown. When America committed more fouls in one half of international basketball than any other international area (political or otherwise), Marbury was the steady hand. When America couldn't afford to lose, a 6-foot-2 Marbury carried 280 million citizens on his tattooed shoulders. Is it too late to get him on the Presidential ballot? Maybe as an independent? If the election was today, he'd get more votes than Nader.

Here are the numbers:
* 6-for-9 on three-pointers (including a half-court shot at the shot clock expired that nearly banked in
* 31 points

Here are the records:
* Most three-pointers hit by a U.S. player in Olympic history
* Most points scored by a U.S. man in Olympic history

Yesterday, Marbury was lamenting his poor performance in the Olympics so far. And, yes, it was poor. In fact, it sparked the greatest Associated Press Olympic: ""Stephon Marbury did not take a shot, keeping his shooting percentage at 20 percent (6-for-30)."

It was simple and powerful, but then again so was Marbury against Spain. And when it mattered most. Hmmm, I wonder if Lawyer friend Steve is still ashamed to be an American.

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