Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Six

Kevin Martin won’t play without a superstar anymore


In nine NBA seasons, Kevin Martin has six times led a team in scoring – the Rockets thrice and Kings thrice. Martin, a dependable outside shooter with an ability to get to the free-throw line, has even scored up to 24.6 points per game.

Last season, as the Thunder’s sixth man, Martin had to settle into a different role. Playing with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Martin averaged just 14.0 points per game – his lowest total since his second season.

He didn’t mind. In fact, that experience played a crucial role in his free agency.

Martin, via Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

“After playing with Kevin Durant and Russell, I wasn’t going to another team without a superstar,” Martin said on Saturday. “It just elevates your game and makes your life a lot easier.”

Martin signed with the Timberwolves, who have Kevin Love. Love is not on the Durant level, or maybe even the Westbrook level, but Love meets my superstar threshold nonetheless.

Love’s scoring is certainly part of his superstardom, but his rebounding and passing for his size are also key components of making him worthy of the “superstar” tag. Love is the rare superstar who can score less than a non-star, let alone non-superstar, on his own team.

Though he’ll have competition from Love and Nikola Pekovic (assuming he re-signs), Martin has a good chance to lead the Timberwolves in scoring next season. If playing with a superstar is so important to Martin, Minnesota provides the opportunity for him to have the best of both worlds.

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.