Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin both injured

The Knicks’ bench takes another hit with Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin out two weeks.

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Metta World Peace says argument with Kenyon Martin was over pasta

The New York Knicks have lost nine games in a row, and the stench of defeat is starting to cause frustration in the locker room. Before Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin reportedly got into a heated argument. Most of us assumed it had to do with the […]

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Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin Reportedly Separated After ‘Heated’ Exchange

Tempers continue to flare as the New York Knicks discover losing isn’t all peaches, cream and 112 sing-a-longs.

Losers of their last nine, the Knicks are searching for answers. For a win. But in the absence of answers and winning, they’ve resorted to players-only meetings and in-house tiffs.

Before the Knicks lost to the New Orleans Pelicans at home on Sunday, veterans Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace got into a “heated” exchange, according to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:

Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace got into a “heated” verbal argument during a Knicks workout prior to Sunday’s game against the Pelicans, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The two veteran forwards did not come to blows but the back and forth was described as “intense” by one source with knowledge of the dustup.

World Peace denies the “stories,” cautioning us not to believe everything we hear:

Martin and World Peace apparently settled their differences prior to tip off (if there was anything to settle at all), but their amicable resolution did little to inspire a reeling locker room. New Orleans was without sophomore-phenom Anthony Davis for much of the game—a game where the Knicks held a lead in the fourth quarter—and still the team was unable to secure a victory.

Instead, Madison Square Garden played host to another dustup.

Iman Shumpert was benched following a shouting match with Carmelo Anthony over what the third-year guard later called a “defensive miscommunication,” according to the New York Post‘s Marc Berman.

Afterward, both players attempted to shrug the scuffle off, but they cannot erase the vivid picture now ingrained in our memory. Cameras showed Shumpert and ‘Melo going at it, the former of whom continued his jawing long after he was relegated to the bench.

Recent quarrels suggest that New York’s morale is at an all-time low and tensions are boiling over. They’ll also be used to color the Knicks a dysfunctional mess, an interpretation that cannot be easily refuted.

But these things tend to happen in the heat of the moment. Emotions run high when on the field of battle and players forfeit control when the loss column bestrides the win column.

Less than 20 games into the season, the Knicks are at that point. They’re desperate. Lost. Panicked. And at times, even lifeless.

Begley says they’ve already had two “closed-door” pow wows to address their internal grievances and could be headed for another. Trouble’s afoot and the Knicks have done nothing to curb it.

Feuding off the court and during games won’t solve anything. Save the emotion, save the anger for your opponent. Save your season by playing for and with each other.

“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said following New York’s latest loss, via Begley.

Once the Knicks start playing to win, in-fighting will cease to exist, allowing the team to climb out of the tabloids and up the standings.

 

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New York Knicks re-sign big man Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Martin (Photo credit: NBA.com)
It’s official! The New York Knicks re-signed big man Kenyon Martin and Knicks fanatics couldn’t be happier about the return.
The forward also known as K-Mart was recently signed to a one year deal and will make about $1.4 million on a veterans minimum contract, according to league sources.
Knicks Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald proudly made the big announcement last Thursday on NBA.com
“Kenyon did a fantastic job for us once he signed in February,” Grunwald said. “He strengthened our frontline going into an important stretch of the season with some very impressive performances. We are happy to have him back.”
The forward known for his toughness and solid defensive play, will be an important asset in the front court, giving addtitomal strength and support to team players Chandler, Carmelo, Bargnani, and the recently signed Metta World Peace.
The free agent joined the Knicks late last season and played in only 18 regular season games.

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Kenyon Martin signs new contract with New York Knicks

The former No. 1 overall pick was an X factor down the stretch after signing midseason.

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Knicks re-sign F Kenyon Martin (Yahoo! Sports)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks have re-signed veteran forward Kenyon Martin.

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Kenyon Martin is Back, Returns to the New York Knicks

Source: #Knicks and Kenyon Martin have reached an agreement.
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 24, 2013
 
Kenyon Martin agrees to a deal to return to Knicks, his agent confirms.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 24, 2013
 
Knickswag Notes:
Great news out of NYC today. Kenyon Martin back in the orange and blue for the 13/14 season. NY was in need of a tough player in the paint. Kenyon saved the Knicks’ season last year and was needed this year to bring toughness and emotion to an offensive happy roster. The roster now stands at 12 players. With 3 left the Knicks should be in the market for a point guard and 2 more bigs. Hopefully Jeremy Tyler is one of those in mind. Stay tuned!
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Knicks Rumors: New York Would Be Wise to Sign Jeremy Tyler over Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Martin’s toughness and interior defense was a nice addition to the New York Knicks last season, but the team must get bigger and younger to improve the roster.

Martin has all the muscle and moxie to mix it up on the inside, but he’s a power forward who is forced to play center for teams who lack depth in the middle.

The Knicks are one of those teams, so there is no wonder that bringing Martin back to New York is said to be “a good possibility,” per Jared Zwerling of ESPN.

Martin is a decent option as a backup plan, but the Knicks should look at signing players like 22-year-old Jeremy Tyler. He averaged 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Knicks during Summer League play.

Zwerling specifically names Tyler as a possibility in his report. Based on this tweet from the New York Knicks, Tyler certainly got the team’s attention:

Tyler is 6’10″, 260 pounds and a better-than-average athlete. He could spell Tyson Chandler in the middle, and even give minutes at power forward. As of right now, the power forward and center positions are made up of Chandler, Andreas Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire.

That trio missed a combined 116 games last season, and the average tenure in the league is 10 years between them. Martin will be 36 by mid-season, so bringing him back is like adding more of the same veteran element.

The Knicks would stand to gain more with a fresh body who could learn from the veterans. Perhaps he shows enough to allow the Knicks to feel comfortable with moving Chandler in the near future.

Acquiring Martin again would only be a short-term solution. Tyler could help the team now as well as plant a seed for later.

In the high probability that the Knicks aren’t a championship-caliber group, acquiring a potentially high-reward player for cheap makes more sense than inking a veteran whose talents are exclusively suited for an immediate championship run.

 

Follow me for hoops news, rumors and spirited opinions.

 

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Knicks Rumors: New York Should Choose Kenyon Martin over Elton Brand

The New York Knicks have been as active as any team in the NBA this offseason, pulling out blockbuster trades and high-profile signings at every turn. As their cap space rapidly decreases, however, their window of opportunity to improve is closing.

While both players may offer reason for intrigue, the Knicks must choose Kenyon Martin over Elton Brand as they pad their interior with one last big-name move.

New York has expressed interest in both veterans, as the team lives and dies by its defensive consistency. The addition of Andrea Bargnani and re-signing of J.R. Smith may help the offense, but neither is regarded as a defensive specialist.

Even as they age, however, both Brand and Martin remain two of the league’s better interior reserves on both ends of the floor—the Knicks are interested in them for that very reason.

Each player has his strengths, but Martin takes the cake in this instance.

Brand and Martin are both older than 34, have more than 10 years of experience and come in with injury concerns. They’re also past their prime, inching closer to retirement than another season of double-doubles.

With that being said, few players can provide the value that Brand and Martin individually possess—it just so happens that “K-Mart” is the better fit.

 

All About Familiarity

The New York Knicks finished the 2012-13 NBA regular season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Even as J.R. Smith disappeared during the 2013 playoffs, the Knicks managed to escape the first round for the first time since 2000 and prove their status as one of the best in the NBA.

While adding personnel can be a critical form of improvement, there’s no reason to fix what isn’t broken.

That’s the case for Martin, who averaged 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.9 minutes of action during 18 regular-season games for the Knicks. In that time, New York went 13-5 and stopped the bleeding after falling into a 15-15 rut in the 30 games prior to signing K-Mart.

Come the postseason, Martin’s energy and defensive prowess helped the Knicks overcome Tyson Chandler’s injuries and thus escape the Boston Celtics.

Martin may not be the game’s most prolific player, but he’s familiar with New York’s system. Not only did he develop a rapport with his teammates, but Martin proved capable of providing quality play regardless of the minutes he received.

Plain and simple, the Knicks have already developed a system of trust with the 35-year-old. Why break that in hopes of receiving a similar boost from a different player?

 

Positional Versatility

As it presently stands, the New York Knicks have two power forwards in Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani. Both players have experience at center, which is important with Tyson Chandler’s struggles to overcome injuries late in 2012-13.

With that being said, neither is a standout defender.

During the 2013 NBA playoffs, however, Martin showed that he has an explosive burst remaining in his legs. Not only is he still athletic enough to defend the pick-and-roll, but K-Mart is patient when he contests shots at the rim.

Most importantly, he’s strong enough to serve as New York’s enforcer at the 5 in an undersized lineup.

Martin stands at 6’9″ and 240 pounds, which isn’t too different from Brand’s powerful stature. With that being said, Martin has long been used as an enforcer who bangs down low, crashes the boards and defends the post with active hands and disruptive length.

Brand may provide similar abilities, but Martin’s defensive-minded approach is paired with something New York needs to complement Bargnani and Stoudemire down low—postseason experience.

 

Postseason Experience

Brand was the first overall draft choice in 1999 and has gone on to post career averages of 17.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Martin was selected with the first overall selection in 2000 and developed into one of the top defensive forces in the NBA.

If one number puts career paths aside and makes Martin the choice over Brand in 2013, it’s 82.

To date, Martin has played in 112 postseason games, starting 88 and making two NBA Finals appearances. Brand, meanwhile, has played in 30 career playoff games, a full 82 less than Martin.

There’s your clincher.

K-Mart and Brand will provide similar contributions at this stage of their respective careers. When it comes down to whom the Knicks should add, however, it’s all about making an impact in the playoffs and chasing a ring.

With a significant edge in postseason experience, Martin deserves to be signed over Brand.

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Is Kenyon Martin the Best Value Free-Agent Pickup of the 2013 NBA Season?

Back at the start of the season, who would have thought the image of a floored, grimacing Kenyon Martin in a New York Knicks uniform would feel like a roundhouse to the gut?

Arguably the best value free-agent pickup of the 2013 NBA season, Martin was outperforming everyone’s mildest and wildest expectations before picking up this “sprained ankle.”

He had become, behind Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, the third-most critical factor in the Knicks’ second-half stabilization and ensuing dominance.

The Knicks’ back story all season has been age and injury, both of which opened the door for the yearning, yet almost-retired Martin (aged and oft-injured himself) to step in at the trade deadline.

New York dumped the increasingly unused Ronnie Brewer for a second-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder to make room for the big man.

Martin was picked up for insurance—before Amar’e Stoudemire went down—to shore up the rest of the wounded.

The result? Martin has essentially plugged the holes of five players and two positions over 18 games, 11 of which were during the 13-game win streak.

“With Marcus Camby (left plantar fasciitis), Rasheed Wallace (fractured left foot), Kurt Thomas (right foot stress reaction) and Amar’e Stoudemire (right knee surgery) out, Tyson Chandler sat [against the Washington Wizards] with a reoccurance of soreness from a bulging disc in his neck that recently kept him out of 10 games.” (via New York Post)

Martin has been starting in Chandler’s place: against the Wizards, in nine of the 11 games he played during the streak and two losses out West.

Though signed to a 10-day contract on Feb. 23, Martin saw action only once during its term—in the Feb. 27 win against the Golden State Warriors.

But with all the big men (but Stoudemire) hurting, he signed a second 10-day contract.

He became a permanent addition and game-impacting fixture when Stoudemire got hurt again on March 7. Since that time, Martin has played in 17 of the Knicks’ 19 games.

He has averaged 24 minutes per game, more than he did with the Los Angeles Clippers last year. Martin’s line per 36 minutes yields a more-than-respectable 11 points and eight rebounds (including 2.8 on the offensive end, second-best in his career).

His defensive play and fleetness, while not equal to his peak years, has been surprisingly youthful. He is blocking and stealing, at least statistically, as well as he ever did.

Martin has provided more than numbers, though. He has boosted team morale at just the right time. The Chicago Tribune took notice,

Kenyon Martin again sparked the team he joined a month ago … provid[ing] big plays on both ends of the court and an intensity the Knicks have needed. “It is contagious, but again, all I have ever known of him is that he plays with high energy and sometimes that rubs off,” Mike Woodson said of Martin. “Our defense has really picked up because he talks a lot and knows defensive rotations. He has been a major plus.”

The Knicks, behind GM Glen Grunwald, have been masters of the cheap, underestimated free-agent pickup during the last year. Well, they have to be.

Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Wallace have all contributed mightily at one point or another to the 50-plus season the Knicks, and their fans, are enjoying. All came relatively cheap.

For the first half of 2012-13, one could have argued that Wallace ($1.3M) was the NBA’s best value free-agent pickup.

But what makes Martin’s stint superior is timing (and he’s cheaper at about $430K). Wallace was signed to plug the hole left by Stoudemire early in the year. Martin came to plug the holes left by Wallace, Camby and Thomas, then filled in for Stoudemire and Chandler, too.

Martin joined just as the Knicks were falling apart—right after a four-game losing streak that straddled the All-Star Break. He started getting the nod in the midst of the Knicks’ horrific West Coast trip and helped turn things around.

The Knicks are 13-5 with Martin in the lineup and are now at their hottest heading into the postseason.

What about other free-agent pickups around the league? How does Martin’s impact compare with other value signings?

Derek Fisher (Oklahoma City Thunder), Josh Howard (Minnesota Timberwolves), Andray Blatche (Brooklyn Nets) and Nate Robinson (Chicago Bulls) are good examples.

But neither they, nor any of the other cheap, one-year deals on the complete list of 2012-13 free-agent transactions have been nearly as essential as Martin has been to the Knicks (or Wallace early on for that matter).

Alas, Martin’s season might be over. Or it might not be.

New York has been so clandestine about injuries that no one has any true idea of the severity of Martin’s injury or when he’ll be back.

The Knicks aren’t taking any chances. They’ve plucked James Singleton from China and will let Thomas go, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News,

 

 

But hopefully, Martin will be back for Round 1 where he will have the chance to cement his legacy as the best value free-agent pickup of 2012-13—and perhaps even earn a slightly more valuable contract for 2013-14.

He’s only 35. That’s like a kid in Knick years.

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