Yes, that was embattled Knicks guard Stephon Marbury sitting in the second row of Friday night's Lakers-Orlando Magic game at Staples Center. But don't read anything into the fact he was siting in Jeanie Buss' seats.

"Jeanie and I are really cool," Marbury said. "She invited me to come to the game. I wanted to come before, too. I want to be around it, I miss it."

Marbury is living in Los Angeles, working out at a facility in Manhattan Beach and hiking in Runyan Canyon near Hollywood. This is the second Lakers game he attended this year. The first, rather famously, came in December when he sat courtside for the Lakers-Knicks game.

But there's also no correlation, Marbury said, between his attendance Friday and the Lakers recent injury woes in the backcourt.

"No, there isn't a correlation," he said. "I gotta get out of my deal before I can do anything else."

Not that there's been much progress lately on that front. Marbury is still under contract with the Knicks, who would love to trade him or buyout his contract, but those talks seem to have regressed in recent weeks and Marbury said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if it comes to that.

"Now, basically, I'm just waiting. It's just such a weird situation because they created it. It's been a humbling experience not to be able to play, because that's what I love to do, but at the same time, it's a business and I can't fight no billion-dollar company," he said.

"They're basically saying, 'You're not going to play this year to make your contract for next year.


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' But that's alright. I got so many things going on off the court, I think in time everything will work out OK.

"If I play or if I don't, the way I went at it this year, I came in ready to play basketball. I did everything they asked me to do, so if they're holding things over my head that happened in the past, there's nothing I can do about it."

ramona.shelburne@dailynews.com