There are two departments that veteran forward Kenyon Martin has never lacked in during his years in the NBA – energy and toughness.
You can always guarantee that the second he steps on the floor, no one will ever outwork or intimidate Martin. Which is exactly why he would be a perfect sign for the franchise that selected him with the first pick of the 2000 NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets, who have been rumored as having interest in the 35-year-old.
Things have surely changed since those days. We’ve made technological advances that we never thought could be possible. Martin, meanwhile, never made the physical advances that the Nets not only thought could be possible, but that they realistically expected out of him as a No. 1 overall pick.
But unlike other 21st century busts that everyone loves to poke fun at, such as Kwame Brown and Greg Oden, Martin doesn’t find himself categorized as a terribly horrendous front office decision. Instead, he’s fashioned a lengthy, respectable NBA career for himself, averaging 12.8 points, seven rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 13 seasons.
Now, Martin didn’t live up to those numbers last season, as he was good for just 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and just under a block per night, but the New York Knicks certainly felt his presence when they brought him in for the final 18 games before the postseason.
He brought tenacity, grit and passion that was never taken for granted. He always has. Next year won’t be any different. Even if they wouldn’t plan on giving him significant minutes next season, the Nets most definitely wouldn’t regret bringing him back.
And you know that Martin would do everything he could, when given the opportunity, to help the Nets get back to the Finals and finish off the job that he and now head coach Jason Kidd were unable to complete back in 2002 and 2003.