March 4, New York-Shots rang out at Madison Square Garden in New York City last night in what nba officials are calling a "Crack down on the league's growing thuggish reputation, " said officials.
Stephan Marbury was struck in the shoulder after he delivered a hard foul on the opposing team's point guard as the New York Knicks fell in a 34-point beating by the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
Imediately after the hard foul, which occured with 3: 21 left in the third quarter, Head Ref Laurence Ballworth, motioned to a sniper positioned in the rafters just behind the Knicks 1990 nba Championship banner.
The new hand signal, forfinger and thumb extended at a right angle with the other fingers curled in a half-fist and pointed to the side of the head or temple, was recognized by Marbury but it was too late.
"I knew he had a reputation, I'd been following him through my scope for the last couple of plays because I saw he was starting to get frustrated. They were loosing badly, " said sniper Tom Hicks."I was just itchin' for the signal."
Marbury tried to run into the stands but he was struck just before he reached the first row seats.
"The league's official stance is that if a marked player makes it into the stands then our snipers are to hold fire, " said league president Davied Stern."At that point we rely on our great fans to try and coax the offending player back onto the court. . . we're not paying that sniper in hotdogs you know."