Kenyon Martin was back on an NBA court Wednesday night, playing his first game as a member of the New York Knicks. He played just five minutes and had zeros across the box score, but with the news that Rasheed Wallace is out for the rest of the regular season (at least) the odds Martin eventually gets picked up by the Knicks for the rest of the season is high.
Martin was unspectacular for the Clippers last season — 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds a game with a PER of 9.9, but he played solid defense for them. Combine the stats with his age (35) and his reputation for being disruptive in the locker room and the only offers that came his way in the off-season were for the league minimum. And he wanted to be paid more, so he shot those down. The problem was no new ones came.
Martin was on the sidelines all season until the Knicks called, and the former No. 1 overall pick in 2000 told Newsday that was humbling.
“It humbles you,” Martin said. “I know it humbled me. I can’t speak on the next man. I didn’t think I played all that bad last year with the Clippers, helped them get out of the first round, was a major part of that. Stranger things have happened.
“It was something that was unexpected, of course, took the time to get my mind around it. I went through every emotion — mad, sad, upset, confused. You name it, I went through it.”
Martin isn’t going to be a game changer for the Knicks, but New York is hoping he and a returning Marcus Camby can provide some front-line depth. And after all he went through, Martin might accept that role gladly.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.