Many Knicks are familiar with Kenyon Martin.
Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd all played with him before. Martin’s most success came playing with Kidd and the Nets, where they reached two Finals together. But that was more than a decade ago.
Martin is 35 and hasn’t played since May. So at least he will have something no other Knick has – fresh legs. Mike Woodson said he was in New York taking his physical today.
The Knicks won’t sign him to the 10-day deal until Ronnie Brewer takes and passes his physical with Oklahoma City and that trade is complete. But Mike Woodson and some of Martin’s ex-teammates said if he’s in shape and focused he should help the Knicks.
“He’s just another [guy with a] defensive mentality, a guy who demands respect on the defensive end, a guy who can play multiple positions and just a tough-nosed guy,” Anthony said. “The one thing for sure about Kenyon is he’s definitely going to play hard.”
After giving up 125 points Wednesday in Indiana where effort and defense were non-existent for the Knicks, they could use someone who brings those qualities.
You have to believe Martin will be focused, motivated and ready to prove something, after sitting out all season.
“If he’s got anything left in his tank I think he can still help us,” Woodson said.
“Toughness for sure,” Smith said when he was asked what Martin brings to the Knicks. “He's a smart defensive player which is definitely something we need. He’s a great rebounder as well, as well as a great teammate so I think he brings a lot of intangibles to this team that we’ve definitely been lacking lately."
“The way I look at it, if he’s in shape, he’s ready to play and he’s locked in then I really think he’s a big attribute to this team,” Anthony said. “People that I know that know him tell me he’s in shape and he’s ready and he’s focused. As long as that’s the plan, we’re all for it.”
Woodson said he hasn’t decided whether he will change the starting lineup tonight. If the Raptors start small, Woodson said he could stay the same way as he’s been going.