Friday, October 1st, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  24 responses

Kenyon Martin Taking His Sweet Time to Rehab from Surgery

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

“I got hurt on company time, so I’ll heal on company time.” – Shaquille O’Neal

Fans and media sometimes wonder if certain players are taking a little too long to return from injury. It’s something that often can’t be proven, except when the front-office slips by hinting that this may be true.

Players are usually far too smart and cautious to ever divulge this. Apparently, this memo never reached the desk of one Kenyon Martin, who fully admits that he’s in no rush to get back on the court.

Martin — upset that the Denver Nuggets have yet to offer him a contract extension — reasons that there’s no point in risking further injury by playing so soon following knee surgery, with so much uncertainty surrounding his financial situation.

Kenyon admits that if he had his money, he’d be playing ball right now. Yes, he really said this. Out loud. And to the media.

The Denver Post and FanHouse have the quotes:

If he had an extension, “I’d be playing right now,” Martin said. “I’m not rushing, whatsoever. The day I come back is the day I come back. I’m in the last year of my deal, we all know it. Ain’t nobody in a hurry to give me one, so I’m not going to be in a hurry to come back. Think about it: Ain’t nobody in a hurry to give me a contract, so why would I be in a hurry to rush back and risk further injury. Makes all the sense in the world, right? Trust me, I’ve thought about it plenty.

“I didn’t get hurt on my own. I got hurt playing basketball. I didn’t get hurt me doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing. I got hurt playing basketball. Overuse, is what the doctor told me. I got a tear in my patella. I didn’t get that nowhere else but playing for the Nuggets last year. Up to that point I thought I was playing pretty well.”

In an injury-free world from here on out, Martin says he would like to play until he’s 38 years old. Martin, who has averaged 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in 323 games with the Nuggets, says he’s looking for respect from an organization that he’s played hurt for and given all of what he had when he could.

As if new Nuggets VP of basketball operations Masai Ujiri didn’t already have enough problems keeping him up at night.

The 32-year old Kenyon Martin is in the final year of his deal, netting himself $16.5 million this season to basically chill and hang out until a new deal materializes. Nice work, if you can get it.

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  • JoeMaMa

    Why rush back when your next year isn’t guaranteed? He’s merely pacing himself so that when he returns, he’ll be stronger, and perform to a higher level and be more attractive to potential suitors. I don’t blame him; his knees are as fragile as quail eggs and he’s looking for another 30 mil. Shoot, for that much money, I’d go live in Buffalo, so what’s he’s doing is tame.

  • clockwork

    Wow, the Nuggets just seem to be bursting with happiness right now.


    Agreed, JoeMaMa. Grand Kenyon is one of the enforcers in the league I LOVE to watch play. So much passion. I hope he comes to the Knicks next season or this season if he gets bought out after Denver likely trades him along with JR Smith.

  • Overtime

    He does have a point

  • Ronald

    He has a point, but what’s the point in saying it out loud?

  • NJ4Life

    Ok anybody who thinks its wise to rush back from knee-surgery has a few screws loose. I don’t get why people are making a big deal of this. If his doctor, and the team trainers are saying “you’re not ready” is he supposed to see “nah man I got this”? Then he goes out and turns into Tracy McOden-Bynum.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    I just hope his next deal is more modest. His salary this season is similar to each of Miami’s trio.

  • vtrobot

    he’s keeping it real. is j kidd around to help him with his contract again?

  • MikeC.

    @IAMORANGE – Nooooooo! No Kenyon on the Knicks! Please! Not even for the vets minimum. Martin has a rep as being a tough-guy enforcer, but he only woofs and barks at home and against low-level players. Watch the Nugs closely on the road, and you’ll notice a very different Kenyon. Watch him matched up against true tough (and kinda scary) players like Z-Bo or guys that don’t let antics get to them (Duncan, David Lee, etc) and Martin is very ineffective because they just laugh him off and play. Martin’s rep as an enforcer is way overblown, his knees are shot and he has no perimeter game. Zero compatibility with NY’s system and roster. Of course, now that I’ve said this out loud, Isiah will be back in NY next summer and he’ll offer Kenyon another max contract.

  • T-Money

    I actually agree with what he said, come back when you’re fully healed because if you get hurt again, your next contract might be for the vet min. HOWEVER, he’s hurting his bargaining position by saying it publicly… lack of judgment on his part. À la Leonsis talking about a hard cap before owners and players get to the negotiating table.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    To be honest, I thought this dude fell off the second he left NJ, and then the injuries came..


    @MikeC – I know Kenyon doesn’t stretch the floor, and that his free throw shooting is a weakness of his, but his strengths are defense, rebounding the ball, and he’s a strong finisher. Kenyon also gets his teammates in the right position defensively – Denver looks lost without him at the defensive end. To use a football analogy, K-Mart is like that Ray Lewis type Mike linebacker, who makes sure his teammates are in the best position they can be to defend the play. And btw, K-Mart still has an amazing vertical for a guy who had microfracture surgery on both knees. If he played for D’Antoni, he’d be that irritant off the bench who would lead the second unit defensively. And your comments about him not being able to guard Tim Duncan… Nobody stops Tim Duncan on a consistent basis, the dude is one of the best PF’s this game has ever seen, however, K-Mart disrupts him more times than most people that guard him, usually by slapping that ball out of his hands while he’s going up with the ball, and Duncan holding his arms up looking at the ref for a call, while the Nuggets are in transition for an easy bucket. You know transition buckets, something D’Antoni LOVES. Bottom line, I’d take K-Mart at vet min in a heartbeat.

  • MikeC.

    ^^ I don’t like the idea of taking guys that are known head-cases at the minimum to be an irritant off the bench. Kenyon has a higher opinion of himself than being an irritant and spot-defender, so he likely won’t be happy playing minor minutes behind Amare, Randolph, Mosgov and Turiaf. If we just need a guy to play that type of role, I’d rather see a young cat get developed. If NY were contenders right here and right now, then sure, it’s worth it to take a flier on the guy, but since NY is building towards a 7 or 8 seed, and working towards a future that Martin won’t be a part of, I don’t see the point. He’s better off going somewhere that he’s actually needed.

  • MikeC.

    Negatives outweigh the positives in my opinion.

  • http://dez@nba.com dez

    this is the problem when someone GUARANTEES your paycheck. If all our paychecks were guaranteed for 6 years, we’d be surfing SLAMonline even more than we already do.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I wouldn’t want to come back to Denver either. YOur solution to improve the team is to add Al Harrington? Just blow up the squad and rebuild, give Kenyon what he deserves and trade him.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Still a premier defender

  • Seven Duece

    Um, he’s getting paid to play this year so he should be playing this year. I’d be suspending his ass without pay with the quickness. If you want a deal for next year, then play your broke kneed ass into one. $16 Mil for 12-14 pts, 7-8 boards and unlimited douchery.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    lazy a$$ fake thug douche! and a scrub! 16mil? thats like 13 mil to much for what he produces.

  • http://klatschendom.wordpress.com/ speedy

    Why should the Denver frontoffice give a player a contract extension when they didn’t see him healthy on the court after his injury.
    The money kenyon has earned through his contract is in my eyes a pretty good compensation for an injury.

  • Anon E Mouse

    @ IAMORANGE4EVER – normally in agreement with you bro but I gotta go (mostly) with MikeC on this. We don’t need Kenyon and his potential disruptions. The old NJ Kenyon? Now that would’ve been a good call, I think Kidd used to keep him focused and well stocked up on alley Oops. Now he’s got JR Smith on the team bus getting in his ear about what tat he gonna get next and at which club he gonna make it rain…

  • VisionofGreatness

    Why did they sign him to that ridiculous contract in the first place?

  • JTaylor21

    KMart disrupts TD? NO NO NO, did you even watch the entire NJ vs SA finals, TD destroyed KMart like I’ve never seen a player do to another.

  • Seven Duece

    ^then you must not have been watching Jordan or Hakeem in the 90′s. Or Kobe against Ronnie Brewer 2 yrs ago in the playoffs. Or Lebron against any of the tweener forwards that Atlanta had to be abused.