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Knicks offer support to Marbury, but no timetable for his return

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Stephon Marbury played the second half
of New York's loss to Phoenix on Sunday night unaware his father
had been taken to a hospital, where he died before the game ended.

Don Marbury was taken from Madison Square Garden to St.
Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center during halftime, reportedly
because of chest pains, but a family member advised a Knicks
official not to inform Stephon Marbury at the time.

Stephon Marbury learned of his father's death from a family
friend minutes after the game.

"It's a terrible thing that happened to him and his family last
night," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said Monday after practice.
"For any parent watching their son or daughter perform, and to
have something like that happen, anyone who has kids would
sympathize with the son and you also sympathize with the family."

Thomas seemed a bit emotional while speaking for less than five
minutes, and wouldn't discuss how long Stephon Marbury would be
gone. Last month, forward Zach Randolph missed three games
following the death of his grandmother.

"We as a family, the Knicks family, we'll give him all the
support and try to be there for him and his family through this
terrible time," Thomas said. "We just went through it with Zach
and his family."

Marbury has endured an especially difficult time, on and off the
court. He has been booed at home since skipping a game in Phoenix
following a clash with Thomas, and an aunt died last month.

"I can feel his pain," Randolph said. "It's been a tough year
on him, I feel real sorry for him and his family. Fans booing him,
and his father passed during the game. It's tough for him right
now.

"He lost his auntie a couple of weeks after I lost my grandma,
so it's tough."

The day after the aunt's death, Marbury said his mother had lost
eight siblings in the last five years, adding that "my mother's a
mess right now." Don and Mabel Marbury had five sons and twin
daughters.

The Knicks play Wednesday in New Jersey, without a clear
solution at point guard if Marbury hasn't returned. Reserve Mardy
Collins didn't play Sunday because of a sprained left ankle, and
Thomas hasn't used Nate Robinson in either of the last two games.

"We'll continue to remain strong within the team and stay
together," Thomas said.