Opa, Stephon!Stephon Marbury's bloated contract and even more bloated ego... the same Greek team that signed Josh Childress away from the Atlanta Hawks.
The New York Daily News is reporting that Olympiakos is interested in signing Marbury. Part of their motivation could be the loss of Childress, who will be out for the next two months after suffering a sports hernia.
Marbury has expressed interest in finishing his career in Europe in the past.
The European leagues have long been a source of players for the NBA -- from Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac and Toni Kukoc in the '80s and '90s to more recent imports like Rudy Fernandez and Danillo Gallinari. Ricky Rubio -- a Spanish point guard that made quite an impression during the Beijing Olympics -- is expected to be a top-five pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. But the relationship beween American and European basketball has taken several interesting turns in the last year... last July, Brandon Jennings became the first American prep star to choose a pro contract in Europe over a college scholarship, and Childress, Jannero Pargo and several other NBA players opted to play overseas rather than take lesser contracts to play in the NBA.
One of those players, Nenad Krstic, recently returned to the NBA, signing a free agent deal with Oklahoma City.
It will be very interesting to see if this rumored Marbury deal goes through. It makes a ton of sense for the Knicks, who are unlikely to recoup any of Marbury's salary from another NBA team. And it makes sense for Olympiakos, who would be getting a name NBA player -- albeit a faded name -- to add to their marketing efforts.
For Marbury, it would represent a chance to get out on the court for a change... and potentially, the opportunity to open up the European market for his Starbury line of shoes and gear. Maybe he'd rather get a buyout from the Knicks and sign with another NBA team -- the Celtics are reportedly interested -- but the Knicks don't seem eager to let Steph sign with a division rival and potentially win a championship. For this season, Olympiakos might be his best -- or only -- option.