2007_12_marbury2.jpgDon Marbury Sr, Stephon Marbury's dad, has passed away at age 69. He was in attendance at the Knicks game last night when he suffered chest pains and was rushed to St Vincent's.

Stephon learned the news after the game and quickly left the Garden without comment. The team, which kept its locker room doors closed for 30 minutes after the game to allow Marbury to leave, refused to talk about why Steph stormed out so quickly after the game, leading some to speculate it was for more on-the-court reasons. Marbury did yell at reporters, "You want to know how, Jesus - that's why."

This morning, however, the Garden clarified that they withheld comment to give the family time to properly notify their relatives, keeping the story off the 11 o'clock news. Aside from his well documented troubles on and off the court this year, this is the third person close to Steph to pass in the month since the season started. His Coney Island basketball mentor "Mr. Lou" Williams died on November 13th, which was the same day he controversially left the team in Phoenix. Six days later, his aunt, Helen Thomas, passed. Now, only 2 weeks after that, his father has died.

No word on how long Steph will miss action. The Knicks have two off days before heading to New Jersey on Wednesday. We sincerely hope that when he returns, the Garden Faithful will have enough decency to finally put the early season boos to rest and show their point guard some support through this trying time. A tragedy like this certainly puts things in perspective.

Photograph of Marbury during warm-up before last night's game by Kathy Willens/AP