The New York Knicks were looking to add a tough defensive presence in the paint to complement Tyson Chandler. Kenyon Martin is finally getting his chance. Rumors were swirling all season regarding Martin’s chances of going to New York and the time was right.
It’s a 10-day contract for the power forward to prove himself. Martin is excited to prove he belongs in Madison Square Garden and is looking to change his image.
Kenyon Martin joined 98.7 ESPN Radio New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss his excitement to join the New York Knicks, his upcoming debut, his new role on the Knicks, bringing toughness to the team’s defense, playing past this season and Carmelo Anthony having what it takes to win a championship.
How excited are you to be back?
“I’m ecstatic man. Words couldn’t describe the feeling when I got that call.”
When do you think you’ll be back on the court? Tomorrow?
“Tomorrow. I don’t know how many minutes it is going to be. It could be one minute, five minutes or 10 minutes. Whatever it is, I am ready. I am excited and that’s what we are shooting for tomorrow.”
What exactly do you think your role is going to be? Has it been defined for you yet?
“Just come out and be the person that I am, be the player I have been over the past 12 years and all my career, and don’t go out and try to be a hero. Just go in there and add onto what they have already and be solid.”
Can you bring toughness and physical play to the Knicks?
“Yeah, ’cause you can’t go out on your heels. You gotta be the attacker. You come out and bring the fight to the opposing teams; you don’t have to worry about them attacking you. That’s just the way I play. That’s the way I played since I picked up a basketball at the age of 10. I’ve always been aggressive and I’ve always been the aggressor. I think that’s what I bring to the unit and guys who that’s not what they do shouldn’t be expected to do that, but I think that’s one of the reasons I am here, to help Tyson Chandler out with that because he’s been trying to do that more, but I think that’s why I am here.”
This isn’t the finish line with the Knicks? You still want to play in the NBA in the future?
“Yeah man. I initially told myself in my career that I want to play until I am 38, and I’m 35 now, so I’m happy and healthy. That’s more than half the battle, I think.”
Do you think Carmelo Anthony has what it takes to carry a team to a title?
“Yeah. It’s not just him, man. That’s what people get confused with. It’s not just going to be Melo. He’s an integrate part of it. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s just not him. If you put pieces and players around him … that makes him that much better. I think they’ve done that so far and that’ll keep you going in the right direction, but to answer your question? Yes. He has what it takes to lead a team to the championship, the ability to go out and do it. That’s why the guys are here and I am here to try and help do that.”