LAS VEGAS — Kenyon Martin has been with the Knicks for the past two seasons and played in Denver seven more, all the while being a teammate of Carmelo Anthony’s. And given how long the two have known each other, Martin expected Anthony to re-sign with New York all along.
“I’m not surprised,” Marin said of the Anthony news, before the Knicks tipped off against the Blazers in Summer League action on Saturday. “I would have been surprised if he left, to be honest. He’s a winner, he’s a competitor, and I don’t think he wants people speaking ill about him like they had in the past. I mean, he wants to bring a championship to New York. This is the start.”
Anthony reportedly will take very close to a max contract to re-up with the Knicks for the next five years, and there’s been plenty of chatter — including from Knicks president Phil Jackson — that he and other marquee free agents should take less money, in order to provide their teams with the financial flexibility to add additional talent. But Martin isn’t necessarily on board with that line of thinking.
“Well, if the Knicks could have paid him less, they would have,” Martin said. “To each his own, man. If you can get paid and win, why not? It’s not just basketball, it’s a business. That’s the nature of it. Some people look at it as being selfish or whatnot, but the man stayed home.”
As for Martin himself, he was limited by ankle issues that forced him out for the season before the All-Star break. He was supposed to be an important part of New York’s big man rotation, but managed to make only 32 appearances while averaging 19.8 minutes per contest. But following offseason surgery, he says he’s feeling “night and day” from the way he did during the season, and expects to be back on the court training sometime in the next month.
Martin is not under contract for next season, and is an unrestricted free agent. But much like Anthony, he hopes to re-sign with the Knicks, and doesn’t see himself playing anywhere else.
“Definitely,” Martin said, when asked if he hopes to return to New York. “I’m comfortable here. Me and Melo have got history, so of course this is where I would love to play. I’m not done by any stretch of the imagination, and I would love to be a Knick again. I’m going to try to make it happen.”