Kenyon Martin doesn’t have an NBA team.
Which seems a little strange — at age 34 last season he struggled a little with knee issues and that led to shooting struggles (he shot 44.8 percent last season, down from 51 percent the season before) and rebounding issues. His PER fell to 9.8. But his knee is healthy now and when you look at teams around the league you can’t think someone shouldn’t give Martin a chance.
Reports within the last week said Martin only wanted to play for a contender and for more than the league minimum. Which certainly limited the pool of teams, and none of those fish bit.
But Martin told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports he would take the league minimum and play for anyone.
“If someone calls me tomorrow, I don’t care who it is, whether it’s losing or winning at this point,” Martin said. “If someone calls me tomorrow and wants me to come in, I’m going. Guys are going down and [teams] are like, ‘Well, we are going to stick with what we got.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I started questioning myself, ‘Am I that bad of a guy?’ “
His reputation as a challenging guy in the locker room is certainly not helping his cause right now. Spears spoke to Neil Olshey, the current Trail Blazers GM who was head man with the Clippers last season when they had K-Mart, and he spoke glowingly of him. Olshey said Martin was the guy who held others accountable in the locker room and the team needed that.
Martin thinks he’s misunderstood.
“There is a notion about me that is not accurate at all – I don’t know who started it or where it came from – that people can’t control me,” Martin told Yahoo! Sports. “I don’t understand. Have I had my issues like a lot of other people? Yeah. But I’m getting back that people think they can’t control me, that if I don’t play I’m going to explode, or I can turn a locker room.
“In 12 years there was not one day where I told one guy to dislike anybody. If you ask guys who I’ve played with that know me, they know what it is and know I’m about winning basketball games and competing.”
It’s early in the season, teams are not willing to shake up what they have yet, injuries have not hit teams that hard yet (save Golden State and Brandon Rush). But something is going to change, and when it does Martin is going to get his call. Maybe not this week, but it will happen soon.