Stephon Marbury has carried the stigma of being a selfish player for the majority of his 12-year NBA career.
Now, his older cousin is saying Marbury is even more self-centered off the court and is dishing details on the Knicks point guard in his autobiography, "The Beautiful Struggle," the Daily News has learned.
The book, due out in late September from Xlibris Publishing, has former NBA pro and current overseas player Jamel Thomas alleging that Marbury ruined a potential deal for him with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In it, Thomas includes a conversation that he allegedly had with Kevin Garnett, in which Garnett tells him how Marbury's presence on the team spoiled his cousin's chances of signing with Minnesota.
"Stephon's selfish - It's just the way he is," Thomas told The News. "He never put himself out there at all to help me. He left me out to dry. Too many false promises. I still love him, but he's selfish."
Thomas writes in the book that while with the Trail Blazers in the 1999-2000 season, Garnett took him aside following a playoff game against the Timberwolves and told him that he and Marbury lobbied to get him signed with Minnesota in the 1998-99 season, but that Marbury's antics with the team kept him from a potential contract.
"I could've got you here, but the way Steph demanded everything, like the same money I got that they didn't have for him, and then by forcing a trade, this organization didn't want no part of you," Thomas writes of Garnett's comments to him. "I could've pulled some strings for you, but your cousin is a (------)-up dude."
Marbury forced a trade to the Nets in early 1999.
"I do think that (Marbury) cost me that chance," said Thomas, 32, who is scheduled to suit up for a Greek team this season, his seventh overseas. "I know he did. I truly believe that."
When The News informed Marcia Marbury, Stephon's sister and manager, about the book, she said, "No comment," and "Stephon's not going to comment on a book."
Marbury's younger brother, Moses Marbury, would only add about the book: "I think it's all negative."
Thomas writes that while growing up and playing basketball together in Coney Island, he and Marbury were as close as two cousins could be, but that all changed once Marbury was drafted by the Timberwolves in 1996.
After Thomas graduated from Providence and it was his turn to enter the league's draft in 1999, he writes that he asked Marbury which trainer would best prepare him for workouts with NBA teams.
Thomas writes that Marbury set him up with an exclusive trainer from Italy and told him, "Cuz, don't worry about it. I got you," but never picked up the bill. Thomas also adds that Marbury wrongly advised him to switch agents, and was never serious about helping him break into the NBA.
Still, Thomas made it, scoring short stints with the Celtics, Warriors, Nets, Trail Blazers and Jazz from 1999-2001.
Thomas told The News that he hasn't spoken to Marbury since last year, when the Knicks point guard watched him play in Italy, adding that their conversation after the game was "forced, limited and didn't solve much."
Yet, he believes this book can be a positive for their relationship.
"This was therapeutic to write," Thomas said. "I wanted to get my story out. This is real. I think it's going to bring everyone together."