Marshall clarifies remark about Cavs' chances to win

Updated: May 9, 2006, 7:39 PM ET
Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Donyell Marshall says he didn't mean what he said about the Cavaliers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Cleveland's forward claimed before Tuesday's Game 2 against Detroit that a quote of his didn't imply the Pistons would win the best-of-seven series.

On Monday, Marshall was asked about the Cavs' youth vs. the Pistons' experience. He said: "Detroit has the knowledge from winning a championship two years ago, and going to the championship last year. I think their knowledge is going to overtake our youth right now."

Detroit sports talk radio had a field day with the quote, playing it over the air and surmising that Marshall was packing it in after the Pistons won the opener by 27 points.

Marshall, who signed with Cleveland as a free agent before this season, initially denied ever saying it, and then tried to clarify his remarks.

"I never said they were going to win the series," he said. "I never said we were going to lose the series. That never once came out of my mouth. The question was never presented that way.

Marshall said he didn't feel a need to discuss it with his teammates.

"When I read it, I was [mad]," he said. "I'm a guy who talks to everybody. It makes me not want to talk at all. It makes it sound like I'm giving up on the team. I'm one of the biggest believers of this team. It's one of the main reasons I came here."

Pistons center Ben Wallace was puzzled by Marshall's words.

"That's not something you usually hear from an opponent during a series," he said. "We do have a lot of experience in this locker room, so maybe he's just making an observation about that."

Cavs coach Mike Brown said he was unaware of Marshall's remarks, but then seemed to know exactly what the 12-year veteran had talked about.

"Part of it is right," Brown said. "They may have some experience that we don't have but I'm not using that as an excuse to why we got our behinds kicked in Game 1. It had nothing to do with that."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press