“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.
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.