This summer, we added a lot of pieces; Robin Lopez, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright, and Earl Watson. The problem, none of these guys are angry enough! Now, if there was one type of player we don't have - and didn't add - it's the one who's tough, in- your-face and not afraid of crossing the line. The one that other teams' fans love to hate.
On top of that, If there's one spot we could add to, it's the front-court. Looking at our bigs, we have 5 players (LA - 28, T-Rob - 22, Freeland - 26, Lopez - 25 and Meyers - 21) at an average age of 24.4 years old, but worse yet, the average experience in the NBA is 3 years. The best-case player we could add would be a veteran, tough guy that has experienced going deep into the finals.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present, Kenyon Martin.
Although throughout his career he has mainly been considered a power forward, last year with the Knicks, he primarily played as a center with Anthony at the 4. He showed in his brief time at New York he can still play quality minutes off the bench, averaging 20+ minutes in the playoffs. The obvious thing you see every time Kenyon steps on the court is a fiery passion, that, although some of our players might have, they keep it in check. There is a possibility that T-Rob may have this same demeanor, but who better to mentor Robinson into thriving in this role than K-Mart, who has been playing in the league for more than ten years. As for the others (esp. Meyers and Joel), it is important they learn to play with the same hunger, rather than constantly drifting out of the game.
Another reason to sign Kenyon - the main aspect of the game he thrives in is one-on-one post defense (ring any bells?) which, although Lopez is an upgrade over Hickson, is great as he could talk to all of bigs about being a pest on D, not allowing deep position, etc. On top of that, he averaged 8 rebounds per 36 last year, and is a capable offensive player.
I've just read some great things about Kenyon too. He developed his quick temper and ferociousness from being bullied as a kid for having a stutter, and so recently joined the board for a not-for-profit, stuttering treatment organisation. He also donates a heck of a lot to charities, even compared to other NBA players, so it seemed as though he has grown out of his immaturity off-the-court, but has kept his passion when on-court.
To sum up, I put to you this. Although of course it is great to get players that "you've always liked", sometimes it is more important to take a flyer on someone not as... nice I s'pose, and the one positive from a guy who doesn't interview nicely, is they usually don't play that way either (nicely, that is). At times I wonder whether Meyers and LA are too much the other way.
I hope this fanpost has opened your eyes a bit, and you understand that, for most teams you need at least one player who's got a bit of mongrel and fight in him. The kind of one that will back up his teammates to a fault. And hey, it doesn't hurt that he's a veteran, solid defender, rebounder, and will sign for the vet's minimum.
Also a bit of trivia here, Kenyon Martin has been in the NBA for 13 seasons. I kid you not when I say he has been in the playoffs each and every season of his career. I mean, we should sign him just based off of this fact - the guy knows how to win!
Thanks for reading,