A year ago at Summer League in Las Vegas, Kenyon Martin was eying a full-time return to professional basketball, and was hopeful of receiving an opportunity to once again play for the Knicks.
“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.”
It never happened.
Martin’s only shot last season was in Milwaukee, where a former teammate in Jason Kidd, now the Bucks’ head coach, saw it fitting to give him a chance.
He appeared in just 11 contests, and once it became clear that he was finished, Martin saw fit to announce his retirement in advance of next season.
“It’s been a great 15 years,” Martin, 37, told Yahoo Sports. “Thanks to all the fans that supported me over the years. But a time does come when you have to walk away, and the time is now for me. I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I would like to thank the Nets, Nuggets, Clippers, Knicks and Bucks for the opportunity to play the game that I love.
“It’s been real. Thanks for the love.”
Martin was the consensus 2000 college basketball player of the year at the University of Cincinnati. He also played briefly for the China Xinjiang Flying Tigers during the NBA lockout in 2012. His basketball career ended when the Bucks opted not to sign him for the remainder of the season after he completed two 10-day contracts and was waived on Feb. 19.
Martin played a total of 15 NBA seasons, and was an All-Star with the Nets back in 2004. He was a member of those New Jersey teams that went to the Finals in consecutive seasons in 2002 and 2003, and played with Carmel Anthony in Denver for the bulk of his time with the Nuggets.
Martin was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, and leaves the game with career averages of 12.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per contest.