The Denver Nuggets Kenyon Martin was fined $25,000 by the NBA for a flagrant foul he committed on Dirk Nowitizki in the Nuggets 109-95 victory over the Mavs in game one of their second round series.. Initially, Martin was assessed a technical for his cheap shot on Dirk, but the NBA has since upgraded it to a Flagrant One. See the video below and decide for yourself.
Some of the media including ESPN Radio Dallas host Kevin Kiley called Kenyon Martin a thug for his actions on Sunday. Kenyon Martin grew up and went to high school in Dallas and his sister Tamara Martin Harris still lives there. His sister heard Kevin Kiley’s comments and emailed Michael Irvin about how offended she was. They then put Tamara Martin Harris on the air to defend her brother. Here’s what ensued:
On why she called the show:
“I just want to go on the record and let you guys know that you’re entitled to your opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with that because I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things as well, but the one thing that I want to make clear, and very clear, is that my brother is not a thug. He’s a human being that’s doing his job. And it’s really funny to me that are labeling him as a thug but if he was playing soft then he’s not worth the money that they’re paying him, just like we do with Dampier because he doesn’t go in hard and he’s not physical that he’s not worth the money that we’re paying him.”
On the media making the incident a bigger deal than it was to the players:
“You can sit there and you can make comments about a person, and I just find it…I’m offended. I’m really offended because if he wasn’t doing his job, he wasn’t playing, he wasn’t defending, and I think you and the media are a little bit more upset about it than he and Dirk was, because they were laughing and giggling during the 3rd quarter and I’m quite sure they talk all the time.”
On why using the word “thug” to describe on-court actions is off-base:
“That’s just like saying, “oh, I’m a racist but I’m a racist in this form.” Well, no it’s not exactly like that. That is my personal opinion. That is my opinion. Like I said, you’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s my opinion. That’s like me calling you a racist and I don’t really know you, but a comment that you might have made jokingly, I took that as (garbled…) and that’s not your personality or things of that nature. So that’s what I’m stating and maybe you can see it from that aspect of I understand what you’re saying, he did it on the court but he’s not a thug, and the term “thug”, regardless of how you’re using it, is inappropriate, just like me calling you a racist was inappropriate.”