20 People who turned their backs on the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have a troubled past.

New York Knicks, Pat Riley
New York Knicks, Pat Riley / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Stephon Marbury

Stephon Marbury returned to New York in 2004 when the Suns dealt him to the Knicks in a midseason trade. Marbury, Penny Hardaway, and Cezary Trybanski were Isiah Thomas’ first significant move since being named Knicks president. The blockbuster trade involving one of the NBA’s top point guards was supposed to push New York back to contention status.

Marbury spent a few seasons with the Knicks before things turned for the worst in 2007-08. He played in only 24 games that season. During the 2008 offseason, New York hired Mike D’Antoni, under whom Marbury didn't play a game. In November of that season, D’Antoni offered the starting shooting guard spot to Marbury, but he declined it, which resulted in a fine.

The guard said several times that he couldn’t trust D’Antoni, nor could he trust his teammates. He made it clear he wanted out of New York. Tensions ran so high that Marbury was prohibited from contacting the team as of Dec. 1 that season. He wasn’t waived by New York until two months later, which allowed him to sign with Boston. The 23 games he played with the Celtics to close out the 2008-09 regular season and the 14 he played in the 2009 playoffs were his last in the NBA. 

The Marbury-Knicks breakup was ugly, as there was a lot that went into it. New York wasn’t in a good place then, but Marbury’s ego didn’t help. His time with the Knicks was disappointing, with only a first-round playoff exit in 2004 to show for it.