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According to Clyde, Marbury voicing his displeasure with his role in Brown's structured offense Thursday was unbecoming of a captain.

"It was just eight games," Frazier said. "After 20 games, maybe you can make an evaluation. He's got to be patient. It's too early to be saying that."

"I've been talking to Stephon a lot this year and he's been very upbeat, optimistic about Larry and how things were going," said Frazier, who travels with the club as the Knicks' TV broadcaster. "That's why when I woke up and saw the comments [Friday], I was shocked. And I've seen Marbury do more of the little things this season, hustle more, play better defense."

But whatever good Marbury had done in the two straight wins in Sacramento and Utah, it's been lost, as has his game. Marbury, making $16.5 million this season, is supposed to be the leader. Players follow the captain's example. Imagine if all 15 players came to Brown asking for a role change so they could score more.

"We have to support the coach and get on the same page," Crawford said.

Marbury, averaging just 14.6 points, can't figure out how to score in Brown's staid, pick-and-roll offense. Marbury requested a move to shooting guard to give him more opportunities.

Brown told Marbury he can't afford the switch because he doesn't trust Crawford or Robinson as floor generals.

Frazier can understand Marbury's feelings. After Earl Monroe's acquisition in 1971, Frazier said he believed he wasn't getting enough shots, too. But Frazier kept his mouth shut — to Red Holzman and the press.

"I felt something similar when Earl first came in, but it was about the team," Frazier said. "I never said anything to Red. Red wouldn't stand for it. The only thing I could think of is he [Marbury] was embarrassed by what Kobe [Bryant] did."

Bryant outscored Marbury 42-4, playing as free as a cougar in the wild. Marbury, averaging 7.6 points the past three outings, had scored 45 at Staples Center last season.

"Forty-five points looks so far away from me now," Marbury repeatedly said in the Staples Center locker room that Wednesday night.
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