Marbury, in town to attend to his residence there and conduct some business, bought a ticket for the Knicks-Lakers game and had a baseline, courtside seat near film director Spike Lee.
According to the reports in the New York media, Marbury did more talking on his cell phone than he did observing the game, which the Lakers won 116-114.
At halftime, Marbury spoke with a group of reporters. Knicks players rolled their eyes at the notion that he was there, and one team official told the New York Daily News: "This is exactly why we sent him away in the first place."
"I didn't create this,
this is all their doing," Marbury said of his status as a nonplayer
with the Knicks despite being under contract for more than $21 million. "I'm still earning
my check by doing nothing. I'm staying in shape. My mindset is to
enjoy my life."
Team president Donnie Walsh suspended Marbury for one game without pay and docked him an additional game's salary after the Knicks said Marbury refused coach Mike D'Antoni's request to play in Detroit on Nov. 26 -- Marbury's second refusal in as many weeks.
Walsh and Marbury subsequently met to discuss buyout options, but Marbury didn't like what he heard, and walked out of the meeting in less than half an hour. Walsh directed Marbury not to attend Knicks practices or games while the sides continued to work toward a buyout.
D'Antoni said Tuesday night that Marbury's presence was not a violation of Walsh's directive.
"That's fine," D'Antoni said. "About 19,000 people are going to be there tonight, so if he wants to see a good game, that's great."
Marbury, who said he was working out and training in Los Angeles, said another team already has expressed interest in his services should he and the Knicks reach an agreement for his exit.
"All I've got to do is get free," Marbury said. "Once I get free, the team I'm going to go to, I think a lot of people will be shocked."
At the same time, Marbury did not show any impatience at the lack of progress in negotiations. According to Newsday, Marbury said he told Hal Biagas, his NBA players' association representative during the Knicks buyout talks, to not "even worry about it."
"Let them do what they're going to do and make a decision when they're ready to make a decision," Marbury said, according to Newsday.
Forward Quentin Richardson, who was one of the first Knicks to criticize Marbury on the record, did not seem perturbed by Marbury's unexpected and surreal presence at the game.
"Am I surprised or puzzled? I don't really think much about it, man," Richardson said, according to The New York Times. "My thing is, we were here playing the Lakers. I guess he was a face in the crowd. I didn't know he was there.
"I hope he enjoyed it," he added. "It was a good game."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.