Marbury says he wants to stay and play for 'new regime'

Updated: May 14, 2008, 9:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Knicks welcomed Mike D'Antoni with open arms, but now it's time to see how D'Antoni approaches Stephon Marbury.

Marbury, who is coming off season-ending ankle surgery, attended D'Antoni's official introductory news conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

His mere appearance was quite a change from this past season, when former coach Isiah Thomas essentially told Marbury to stay away from the Knicks when they were playing at home.

[+] EnlargeStephon Marbury
Mike Stobe/Getty Images Stephon Marbury said he's altered his training routine to adapt to Mike D'Antoni's plans.

"I think it's great. It's new life. Having a guy who's an upbeat coach, an upbeat style, [it'll] make us play different," Marbury said in the New York Post. "Bringing in a new regime is definitely gonna mix things up. People have been getting a taste of something for a long time. Now they want something different."

Marbury, due to be paid $21.9 million in 2008-09 in the final year of his contract, professed his desire to remain with the Knicks, and said he even has begun a new routine to adapt to D'Antoni's favored run-and-gun scheme.

"I changed my whole workout regimen to get ready for him," Marbury said in the New York Daily News. "I've been doing what Karl Malone did, running up the mountains. I think from watching how the Suns play and the way he allowed Steve Nash to orchestrate certain situations, I could see myself fitting into that." Marbury and D'Antoni had a brief spell together in Phoenix, after D'Antoni was promoted to head coach of the Suns and before Marbury was dealt to the Knicks in January 2004.

The split was a "business decision," D'Antoni acknowledged Tuesday, adding, "I have no problem with Steph whatsoever. I think he's a very talented basketball player and I look forward to working with him … He needs to be put in certain situations. He has strengths we need to play to. We have to try to maximize that and not worry about the weaknesses."

Whether Marbury actually will work in D'Antoni's plans remains to be seen. Marbury is not exactly a fan favorite, having missed 58 games in 2007-08 because of his ankle injury and the death of his father.

"I understand people are mad with me and they're frustrated with me as far as how I've played the last couple of years," Marbury said in Newsday. "It was a difficult situation for me, but I think going forward, I have nothing but love for New York."

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