Kenyon Martin has always struck me as a man who takes himself entirely too seriously. His career is marked by tough guy posturing in every conceivable form, to the point where Martin is at times a caricature of himself. I just want someone to grab K-Mart by both shoulders, look deep into his eyes, and tell him in a comforting yet aggressive tone: “You are the guy with a tattoo of lips on your neck.”
Hopefully that would be that. Martin would chill out a little bit, learn to laugh at himself, and not launch into an obscenity-laced tirade when the victim of a prank on April Fool’s Day.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, a former Denver ball boy played a practical joke on Martin for April Fool’s by filling up Kenyon’s car with popcorn. No points for originality, as popcarn is just about the oldest gag in the book. Hyuk-hyuk-hyuk, your car is full of a delicious edible treat.
Any other instance and that’s the end of the story, or maybe Martin retaliates with a prank of his own. Only in this case, the car in question is Martin’s Range Rover with white interior, and the popcorn in question is excessively buttered. That makes an innocent prank an expensive innocent prank, and it makes an already humorless Martin even more humorless.
Broussard calls the event a “distraction” and cites a Nuggets source that says the prank went “horribly wrong.” This all seems like much ado over popcorn, even if some car interior was sacrificed in the process. The instigator apologized to Martin and offered to pay for any damages, so the impact of this horrendous offense to human sensibility is…what exactly? Martin going a little crazy on his teammates for something they didn’t even do?
That’s not a problem, it’s a symptom. Really, that’s all this incident is: evidence of frustration for Martin and probably for the Nuggets as well. That’s what happens when a key player has missed significant time due to injury, and the team as a whole is starting to feel the heat of the impending postseason.