by Marcel Mutoni

Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni will be forced to do something today that his exiled point guard has done a lot of this season: take time away from work.

D’Antoni will miss practice so that he can attend Stephon Marbury’s arbitration hearing (as he seeks to recover $400K that he was fined by the team for refusing to suit up in November) in a Manhattan law office. Despite GM Donnie Walsh’s insistence that buyout talks won’t be part of the meeting, some are hoping that today could, at long last, signal the end of Stephon Marbury’s surreal career as a Knick.

From the Newsday:

That’s because today’s meeting marks the first time that Marbury and Walsh have met face-to-face since Marbury stormed out of a meeting with the Knicks on Dec. 1. It also comes at a crucial time for Marbury; to be eligible to play in the postseason with another team, he must be bought out and put on waivers by the Knicks by Sunday.

Walsh indicated yesterday, however, that the Knicks aren’t all that interested in freeing up Marbury to sign with a possible playoff opponent. “Those are the things you have to put in your head,” Walsh said. “It’s all a part of the general picture. It could impact on you. It’s a competitive issue.”

Since the two sides will obviously solve nothing today, I vote that they hold the meeting at a bus stop somewhere with a camera crew on hand. It’s the only way to properly conduct business these days.