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Trade fulfills dream to call MSG home

CLEVELAND -- Stephon Marbury has always been a New York Knick at heart.

So being traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Knicks was the
fulfillment of a dream for the Brooklyn, N.Y., native who as a
child sneaked into his first game at Madison Square Garden.

What's next on his wish list?

"The only thing that I can visualize is winning the
championship in New York City," Marbury said Tuesday in his first
comments since the eight-player trade. "I mean I don't even know
what life could probably be like after doing that."

The Suns sent the 26-year-old point guard, Anfernee Hardaway and
Cezary Trebanski to the Knicks for Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley,
Charlie Ward, Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic and two
first-round draft picks in the deal Monday.

Neither Marbury nor Hardaway participated in the shootaround
before Tuesday night's game against the Cavaliers because the
players traded to Phoenix had not taken physical exams. Whether
Marbury and Hardaway would play against Cleveland was a game-time
decision.

Marbury said he's always felt close to his hometown team despite
a career that took him to Phoenix, New Jersey and Minnesota.

The kid who won the city high school championship on the floor
of Madison Square Garden called his previous stops in the NBA
learning experiences.

"Being a kid from New York, people don't understand what it is
to be a Knick fan," Marbury said. "Even as a professional
basketball player, the tradition of the Knicks still runs in your
blood."

Hardaway, who had been unproductive with the Suns, said playing
in New York will help him elevate his game.

"It was bittersweet because things didn't work out in Phoenix
the way that I planned, the way that they planned," Hardaway said.
"But going to New York gives me an opportunity to help the Knicks
win and also show that I can still play this game."

Marbury and Hardaway were already talking about a playoff run.
Marbury believes Knicks president Isiah Thomas has put together a
group of players with different playing styles that will be tough
to match.

Marbury said having Thomas, a player he idolized, bring him back
home made the deal even better.

"I'm saying 'thank you' to him and he's saying 'thank you' to
me," Marbury said. "It's a great situation."