This morning I asked Mike K. over at KnickerBlogger.net to weigh in on the debate. Mike was cool enough to hit me right back with his take …
Comparing Marbury to Oscar Robertson is like comparing Vince Coleman to
Rickey Henderson. While they had some stats in common, there is a large
disparity in talent between the pairs. Sure 20-8 would put Marbury in the
same category of the Big O. But the category is an arbitrary one.
Robertson’s careers averages were 25-9, not 20-8, and he averaged 7.5
rebounds to Marbury’s 3.0. Clearly Steph isn’t in Oscar’s league.
But the question is whether or not Marbury is a Hall of Famer. As someone
who has had the opportunity to watch him for the last three and a half seasons, I’ve noticed Stephon excels in two areas. The first is driving to the basket. The second is the pick & roll. Marbury frequently beats his opponent to the hoop, and can finish with a strong right hand, even when the opposing big man comes over to help. In the pick & roll, he’s good at recognizing the defense and can either deliver a crisp pass back to the player who set the pick or take the shot himself.
Unfortunately Marbury isn’t particularly good at other aspects of the game. When paired with Eddy Curry, it became apparent that Marbury wasn’t good at getting the ball into the low post. Recently the Knick offense has moved away from the the pick & roll, and without it Marbury looks average in the half court set. Additionally he doesn’t push the ball up the floor well to create fast break opportunities. And then there is his defense. Last year Marbury was praised for his commitment to the defensive end of the court. It’s telling when a player starts playing defense in his 11th season.
Marbury was an All-Star twice in eleven seasons. He’s only been on two winning teams. He’s never made it out of the first round of the playoffs.
Stephon had a few strengths, but his weaknesses kept him from being a more well rounded player. Stephon Marbury was a good player, but never a great one. He’s not a Hall of Famer.