Maybe there IS something to the notion that Stephon Marbury is misunderstood.
Or maybe this is proof that it's easy to achieve some level of redemption.
A lot has been written about Steph. Admittedly, a lot of that was written right here by me or Chuck. And I'm not going to pretend to know Stephon Marbury. But Stephon Marbury, @StarburyMarbury for you Twitter-heads, is slowly winning me over.
The first step in Steph's road to redemption has been his overly-unselfish style of play so far in Boston. He's rusty and new, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to find his teammates. He hasn't tried to shoot his way out of his early struggles. Maybe Marbury learned from Sam Cassell, walking in out of nowhere and gunning won't score you many points with the fans.
The second step for Steph has come via the now Lord and Master of the internet universe: Twitter. A few nights ago, Steph sat in front of some computer somewhere in Greater Boston, and he just started interacting with people. Actually, it started after practice, just before 3pm, when he sent this tweet:
Today I dunked, can feel my legs coming back. Not worried bout my shot coming,it'll come in time. Defense & dropping dimes r what its about.
Pretty cool. Nice to see he's focusing on the right things. But then at 9:29, he started replying to people. Every couple of minutes, until 11:03, Marbury was sending @reply after @reply… and an explanation.
with the spare time on my hands i wanted to do something different on my own. this was another way to talk to the bostonians.
and the people all over the world. i like the direct connection to the fans. no espn, no local news, just me and twitterland.
And that's why athletes are starting to flock to Twitter… and why fans are following them there. Interacting directly with fans, even 140 characters at a time over the web, removes a barrier. We get to see a little bit of who these guys really are. There's no canned sound bite. There's no camera in anyone's face after they missed two free throws and lost.. and they're more pissed at themselves than we can ever be at them. It's just them, logging in on their terms, and being real.
I don't know who Stephon Marbury is. I've never met him. I'm not going to pretend that him replying to me on Twitter suddenly makes us buddies.
And maybe human nature is such that the slightest hint of being genuinely nice is enough to make you consider wiping out years of what you've read and heard about someone. Or maybe I'm just a sap.
But I want @StarburyMarbury, keep doing what he is doing… on and off the court. I like it. I'm embracing it. And maybe we will see him in June, at a championship parade, doing this:
you will see me fighting to hold the trophy crying if that day comes-it will all have been worth the wait if/when that day happens
By the way, we're going to keep the voting in our Dancer Madness West Bracket open until 11:30 am. At this very minute, 7:01 am, ONE vote separates Jessica from Alexis. A HUGE comeback for the top seed. This is good.
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