As Sam Sees It

Phoenix Suns point guard Stephon Marbury should have his bags packed.

He won’t be on Jerry Colangelo’s payroll for much longer. Oh, he may finish the season in Suns uniform, but should expect to be there any longer. His drunk driving arrest in Scottsdale on Feb. 7 or 8 pretty well clinched that.

Colangelo traded Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets for Marbury after Kidd had been involved in some domestic disturbance incidents.

Kidd has played well in New Jersey and made the deal look foolish from the point of view of a Suns fan. The Nets are leading their division while the Suns are struggling to even make the play-offs.

Kidd was, obviously, a much more team-oriented player. His talents lay more in distributing the ball than in scoring himself.

In short, from a basketball perspective, this was a bad deal for Phoenix.

It was not a bad deal as for as maintaining the Suns as a team that fans can and should respect.

Colangelo is not one who tolerates behavior that embarrasses one of his teams, at least not for very long. Former Diamondbacks catcher Mike DiFelice found that out in a hurry during the heat of last year’s pennant race. He took himself right off a roster that wound up being a World Series Champion team.

It is not clear what, if anything; the Suns would be able to get in a trade for Marbury. Certainly, they can’t expect to get a player of Jason Kidd’s caliber. That probably makes little or no difference.

The worst fears concerning the Marbury-Kidd trade have come to fruition. The rest of the team in Phoenix has not played better while the one in New Jersey has. Marbury has compounded that with an embarrassing behavior worse than the one that caused Kidd to be traded.

The best way to go is probably to look for a point guard who is, like Kidd, team-oriented and likely to make the rest of the team better.

Sacramento has a couple of guards who seem to fit this mold, but it is unlikely that Marbury would fit into their team mold. He is flashy, though, and would probably help some franchises. It may even take a three-team deal to get maximum value for him.

One thing seems certain, though. Marbury’s days in Phoenix are numbered and it isn’t very likely to be a high number.

Jerry Colangelo will probably clean this mess up rather quickly and move on to better things. He seems to deal fairly well with adversity, something that is never easy to do.

Someday, I will write a column on dealing with adversity. It is one of the most important things we need to learn to do. It happens to all of us sooner or later.

Life is not fair. Good people get hurt in ways that are difficult to understand.

How they handle it often determines whether they travel from one disappointment to another, growing more and more resentful; or learn any lessons that are there to be learned, accept their faith and get on with their lives.

That’s easy to say, but very, very difficult to do.


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