Kevin Martin: “It’s a sad day for me but at the same time I know it’s a great opportunity for me on the basketball side”

February 19, 2010 – 10:10 am by Chris Fedor

Unless you have lived in Sacramento and are a Kings fan, you probably don’t know too much about Kevin Martin. One thing about Martin is he can put the ball in the basket and score with about anyone in the NBA. He may not be a very good defender, but he can flat out shoot the rock and get to the free throw line. That’s something that the Rockets could use and that’s why Houston traded for him. The Rockets have had an extremely tough season. They have dealt with a multitude of injuries and they needed someone to take some pressure off Trevor Ariza and Aaron Brooks, who have been forced to shoulder the load without Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming this year. If Martin can stay healthy in Houston, which is something that has been an issue for him this year as well as in the past, he can be the kind of player that replaces T-Mac for the next couple of years in Houston.

Kevin Martin joined KHTK in Sacramento with Jim Kozimor to talk about how he feels being traded to Houston, what it’s going to be like reuniting with his former Coach, whether or not he ever demanded this trade, and gives a message to Sacramento Kings fans.

On how he feels about the news of the trade:

“There’s two different sides of it. The connection with the Kings and the community and that part of it, it’s a sad day for me and my family. Sacramento is the first place that I had my first real job. Just like Corliss Williamson said, I was like a golden child here. To see me grow up from a 20 or 21-year old to a man these days, I always hold special memories with the community and how they love me and how much I put forth out there. It’s a sad day in that part but in another aspect, it’s time to move on.”

On how he feels to be reunited with Rick Adelman in Houston:

“It feels great. I’m ecstatic on the basketball end of it. Coach Adelman ranks as my number one because that was my first coach that took a chance on me. When a trade goes down like this, the Coach and the GM they gotta make a mutual agreement and it just shows how he feels about me as a player. I got a lot of respect toward Adelman and his staff. In the first year, he didn’t make it easy for me, he made me work for everything. The whole staff did. They made it mandatory for me to stay here at the end of that first summer and put in some time. I respect all of them.”

On whether or not he ever demanded a trade from the Kings:

“No. Never. I’m more professional than that. I came into work to get better every day. At the end I felt that everything would work out as it should and that’s all you can ask for. Just going to do your job. But no there was never me walking into the office and asking for a trade or anything. I think on both ends we’ve got too much respect for each other. The organization treated me like I could never plan out a better story from day one since I walked in here. They treated me with loyalty and I treated them with loyalty and I think that’s the main reason they put me in a great situation right now.”

On the criticism that he has been receiving lately:

“How I am as a person, I kinda have a bulletproof window around me when it comes to things like that just because of everything I’ve been through since I came on the basketball scene as an 18-year-old. It’s just what you make of it. Just like I’ve been telling media outlets, I love everything that has happened to me the past six years here and I wouldn’t have written a better story. I can walk out of here with my head high and be thankful of the opportunities that I’ve been given here.”

On the relationship between him and Tyreke Evans:

“Me and Tyreke, we were fine. He’s gonna be a great player here. It was just one of those scenarios that if you were looking for me to average 30 and him to average 20, it’s just not gonna happen because there’s going to be nights where I had to help him and there were gonna be nights where he had to help me. We’re not gonna see that for many reasons, but I loved playing in the backcourt with him for the little time that I did and he’s the guy that I wanted them to draft here and I was very excited. I wish it coulda lasted longer, but it didn’t. We both gotta move on now and I’m sure we will both be fine.”

On his message to the fans of Sacramento:

“I loved every second that I had in Sacramento and they will always hold a special area in my heart. It’s a sad day for me but at the same time I know it’s a great opportunity for me on the basketball side. I made a lasting impression on the community with my work. On a goodbye note I just wanna say thanks for everything and I’m sure I’ll see you later on down the road.”

Listen to Kevin Martin on KHTK in Sacramento here

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