Miami put on full-court press
Marbury instead selected Boston
MIAMI - While the option of playing in a warm-weather city with Dwyane Wade was enticing, the allure of competing for a title with the Celtics was more inviting for Stephon Marbury.
Before he was bought out of his contract by the Knicks, the Celtics and Heat were rumored to have the strongest interest in Marbury. Once Marbury became a free agent, he said Wade and Heat president Pat Riley made a sales pitch to bring him to Miami. While the two-time All-Star appreciated the interest, he opted for Boston, signing a $1.3 million contract for the rest of the season.
"I just felt like that the direction I wanted to go in, winning a championship was important," Marbury said. "I knew that there was an interest for a while [in Miami]. It wasn't something that came about at the last minute when there was talks about me getting out of my deal. Before I was able to get out of my deal, they were interested."
Wade and Marbury were teammates on the United States Olympic team that won the bronze medal in Athens in 2004. The two have remained friends, and Wade often called to check up on Marbury during the soap opera that was his final months with the Knicks.
"We've always had a relationship," said Wade. "I wasn't playing GM. We talked about a lot of different things. Of course, we all knew that Boston was a strong thing."
Said Marbury, "We spoke. I told him it was more about business than anything. That was really it. We spoke about the possibility of coming [to Miami]."
When asked if the Celtics considered the Heat competition for Marbury, coach Doc Rivers said, "We knew there was competition. We just didn't know who it was. We did feel confident that we had him. But I also felt confident that I had a lot of players that never came our way. I thought we had [Antonio ] McDyess this [season], I thought we had Joe Smith, and [neither] of them are here. So you can't take anything for granted in our league."
Said Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, "[Marbury] went pretty quickly to the Celtics. It wasn't much of an issue. They were always probably in the lead."
Marbury was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting and had 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers in 24 minutes in his second start with the Celtics. In six games, he is averaging 2.3 points while shooting 25.9 percent.
"I thought I was a little bit more aggressive today," said Marbury. "I just have to give it rhythm and some timing. It's all legs. My game is all legs and just getting back into the flow."
Moore was scoreless on three shots, with four rebounds and five fouls in 18 minutes. He is averaging 3.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 13.7 minutes in seven games with the Celtics.
"I feel like a couple of my mistakes cost us the game," said Moore. "I didn't get over on defense. Wade got a 3-point play. I missed a couple other [defensive] assignments, and then I missed my jump shot. To me, I think that's a 5-point swing during crunch time. It's very frustrating, but I've got to pull through it."