Kenyon Martin helped the Clippers reclamation project last season with his intensity and defensive presence off the bench. However, the veteran big man is still without a team and he can’t figure out why.
“If someone calls me tomorrow, I don’t care who it is, whether it’s losing or winning at this point,” Martin said, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears. “If someone calls me tomorrow and wants me to come in, I’m going. Guys are going down and [teams] are like, ‘Well, we are going to stick with what we got.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I started questioning myself, ‘Am I that bad of a
Martin averaged just over 22 minutes per game for the Clippers last season, averaging 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds as Blake Griffin‘s back up. A savvy defensive player, Martin drew interest from several teams including the Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets, Hawks and Spurs but none pulled the trigger.
The perception around the league is that Martin is an overly emotional player who can make things turn bad if the team’s performance doesn’t match his expectations. Current Trailblazers general manager Neil Olshey held the same position with the Clippers last season when the team signed Martin and confirms that perception.
“He demands excellence from everyone around him,” Olshey said. “He expects coaches to be prepared. He expects his teammates to compete at the same high level that he does. The one thing about Kenyon, if guys are not performing and are not as intense or focused on playing winning basketball, he’s not reluctant to let them know about it.”
Several teams could be in the market for a backup big man as injuries begin piling up. Marcus Camby of the Kicks, Anthony Davis of the Hornets and Darrell Arthur of the Grizzlies have already picked up injuries that could force them to miss time this season.