Stephon Marbury watched LeBron James host the ESPYs last weekend and apparently was amused. While guest hosting a blog for the New York Post on Friday, Marbury ripped James several different ways, seeming to call him both a bad person and a clown. Here is the quote:
"You want to make me the clown…I’m not the dude on the ESPYs, getting carried on a throne. I’m not him. I’m the good guy, not the bad guy. I don’t want to be carried on the throne…I just want to walk among the people."
I believe this goes back to the spring when Marbury got upset at some things LeBron told the New York media before a game with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. In brief, when asked whether he would ever have discount shoes like Marbury's year old $15 Starbury line, James pretty much said he and Nike have a higher standard. I remember the interview, I didn't think LeBron was doing it with malice. However, it did come off like he was a taking a cheap shot at what Marbury is trying to do and sounding like a Nike elitist. Which, by the way, he is.
From a public relations standpoint, the Starburys have been a hit. He was just in Cleveland promoting them this week. He says he isn't doing it for the money, although he is surely making some, in addition to his $17 million a year salary.
I do not know Marbury personally. I do know a couple of years ago, he proclaimed himself the best point guard in the NBA. I know he has a reputation around the league of sometimes being selfish. He famously has never been on a good team. Being from New York and playing for his hometown team like James, perhaps he wishes he was more well liked around the league. Perhaps he wished he got them to The Finals. Perhaps he wishes he was on Team USA. Perhaps he wishes it was him hosting the ESPYs and hosting Saturday Night Live. He does like the spotlight of television, he hosts his own show in New York.
Then again, perhaps LeBron did look a bit silly with that ESPY stuff. Marbury made two appearances at Cleveland malls this week, two more promo appearances than LeBron will probably make anywhere in Northeast Ohio this summer. So he is "walking with the people" more. And, obviously, he's not afraid to point that out.