If you are Spike Lee, the only remaining fan of the New York Knicks, stop reading now. The following may be too much to bare. The rest of you know how bad the last few seasons have been for the Knicks, but you may have not noticed point guard Stephon arbury’s steep spiral downward.

Starbury has been behaving strangely lately, leading us to believe that 1) he has been bitten by a rabid raccoon 2) has been alternating between hitting the crack pipe and ripping the bong and 3) has decided to play the part of a modern-day Yogi Berra, except not clever and not funny.

The sad but honest truth, however, is that Starbury has joined ike Tyson, Ricky Williams, and Jose Canseco as blessedly talented athletes who have completely lost their minds.

The 30-year-old former McDonald’s All-American has always been a little off. He insisted on being traded away from Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, even though the two were friends off the court and were arguably on their way to being the best one-two punch in the league. He publicly feuded for with Larry Brown, one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Despite never having won the MVP like Steve Nash or an NBA title like Tony Parker, Marbury maintains that he is the “best point guard in the NBA.”

Somewhere along the line, Marbury began to see himself not only as Jesus Shuttelsworh, but Jesus Christ as well. In June, Marbury declared himself a born-again Christian, and his behavior has been mystical ever since.

Some of Marbury’s schtick has been refreshing. His decision to wear Starbury shoes – which can be purchased for $14.98 – was cool. The $4 million he donated to numerous charities is fantastic. But then came Marbury’s infamous appearance on New York Channel four’s “Mike’d Up” three days before July 4.

Need to waste 9 minutes 37 seconds? Check it out on YouTube. When his cell phone rings in the middle of the interview, he makes a derisive comment about the caller under his breath, then answers and identifies the caller as “his better half, my wife.” (More on that later.) He rambles incoherently, shouts over the host as he tries to narrate highlights, and then dances awkwardly in his chair. It is one of those moments – along with the second half of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video and Tom Cruise’s manic appearance on “The View” – where you stop and wonder, “Did I really just watch that on TV?”

Naturally, Marbury then began blogging on the New York Post’s Web site. Since then we have learned that he wants to play in Italy after his Knicks contract expires in 2009, because he fancies himself as basketball’s David Beckham and wants to make the game “even bigger for the United States.”

Stephon, you do not have matinee idol looks. You aren’t married to a Spice Girl. You haven’t been on the cover of GQ, and you really can’t hold your own in the NBA’s weaker conference. You hobbling through a mid-life crisis in a hideous Ignis Varese jersey will do nothing to help the future of basketball in the United States.

This fall, Marbury has come to the defense of the dog-strangling ichael Vick, referred to the sexual harassment lawsuit against Coach Isaiah Thomas as a “joke,” and admitted that he had sex with a college-aged intern in an SUV outside a strip club in 2005 (I guess his “better half” wasn’t calling that night).

But no one can officially be called nuts until he goes AWOL, which is exactly what Marbury did earlier this week. According to the New York Daily News, Starbury stormed to the front of the team plane on Monday and threatened to reveal all he knew about the Thomas lawsuit if the coach benched him. He then left the team for a day before rejoining them Wednesday night in Los Angeles in time to lose to the Clippers.

Marbury was fined $182,000 for his day off, the first of what may be many more “donations” to the NBA for the loony point guard.

At this point, I have two questions.

Will you, Stephon, start dying your hair, dressing in drag, and insulting Mormons, because the NBA just hasn’t been the same since Rodman left?

And Spike Lee, if you’re still reading this, what the hell were you thinking when you made “Girl 6?”

Harlan Goode is a senior in the College and features editor at THE HOYA. He can be reached at goodethehoya.com.

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