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Marbury signs with Boston

WALTHAM, Mass - Boston Celtics signed Stephon Marburyon Friday, bringing the former New York Knicks headache aboard intheir attempt to repeat as NBA champions.

Marbury cleared waivers on Friday morning, reported to theCeltics for a physical and was expected to be in uniform on Fridaynight for Boston's game against the Indiana Pacers.

"We are very excited to have a player of Stephon's caliberjoining our team," Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said. "Ourentire organization is confident in the belief that Stephon canplay an important role in helping us to win another championship."

Marbury, a former All-Star guard who alienated Knicksmanagement, teammates and fans, was waived on Tuesday after heagreed to a buyout of his $20.8 million contract. The Celtics wereexpected to offer him a pro-rated share of the veteran's $1.3million minimum.

Marbury, who turned 32 last week, hasn't played a regular-seasongame in more than a year.

He arrived at the team's practice facility in Waltham justbefore noon, about 90 minutes after clearing waivers. He could beseen from the public area of the workout facility wearing a white,long-sleeved T-shirt and sweat pants, jumping up and down as hetook the practice court, smiling and chest-bumping with severalpeople wearing Celtics gear.

After few minutes, the automatic shades were lowered.

Marbury will back up Rajon Rondo at point guard, a role SamCassell served when the Celtics won their 17th NBA title lastseason. Eddie House, who is more of a shooter, has been forced intothe role this year; Cassell did not play in a game for Boston thisyear before he was traded to the Sacramento Kings and released lastweek.

Marbury took a long leave of absence from the Knicks when hisfather died in December 2007, then had season-ending ankle surgeryand has not played since Jan. 11, 2008.

He returned to the Knicks in training camp, but when the sidestried to negotiate a buyout early in the season, Marbury at firstrefused to surrender any more than $1 million of his $20.8 millionsalary and the team told him to stay home until it could becompleted.

Marbury was the center of controversy during his five years inNew York, feuding with coaches and skipping games.


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