Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Seven

Report: Knicks sign Kenyon Martin to 10-day contract


Miami was interested, but the New York Knicks beat them to the man.

The New York Knicks have signed Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract, tweeted first by Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports and now confirmed by other sources. He steps into the roster spot created by the trade of Ronnie Brewer. The deal likely becomes official this weekend.

Martin brings energy and defense — he can guard on the wing or in the post and is useful against the pick-and-roll because he can easily switch. He can score, he had a respectable 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds a game off the bench with the Clippers last season.

The fact they didn’t invite him back speaks more to their concerns about him in the locker room, but with the veteran and established core of the Knicks it shouldn’t be an issue.

This is not a massive upgrade for the Knicks — if he was that good he wouldn’t have been a free agent that long — but he can be useful to them. The Knicks need to find a defensive groove before the playoffs, and Martin can be part of that.

And if it doesn’t work out, it’s a 10-day contract. (The Knicks can sign him to a second 10-day deal after this one, then they need to make it formal for the rest of the season or let him go.)

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.