BOSTON — Former New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury got a much-needed fresh start in Boston on Friday, and the Celtics acquired the backup point guard they wanted to help them push for back-to-back NBA titles.
Hours after Marbury cleared waivers following his messy divorce from the Knicks, he was playing for the defending champions against the Indiana Pacers.
“I’m just so happy to be able to play basketball again, no matter what my role is,” Marbury said, wearing a Celtics warmup before his No. 8 jersey was rushed over for a photo opportunity. “I was lit up because the tradition of the Celtics — you think about the championships, you think about all the guys who have played here. The history speaks for itself.”
Marbury, 32, was waived on Tuesday after he agreed to a buyout of his $20.8 million contract. The former All-Star, who alienated Knicks management, teammates and fans, hadn’t played a regular-season game in more than a year while fighting with Knicks management over his role.
“I’m human. I make mistakes,” Marbury said. “I have learned from my mistakes. You’ve got to keep on pushing on.”
Coach Doc Rivers said he wasn’t concerned about introducing a potential malcontent into what has been a harmonious locker room, a domain kept in check by veteran All-Stars like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
“That was New York, and wherever else. That has nothing to do with today and tomorrow,” Rivers said.