At Media Day, Kenyon Martin said he spent all summer working on his body. This makes sense: Martin is 35-years old, in the 14th season of his career, and unlikely to unveil any new facets to his game. Why not just come into the season in the best shape possible?
However, yesterday Ian Begley tweeted that Martin, like Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t participate in scrimmages with the team. Today it was again reported that Martin sat out of today’s session and didn’t hit the floor with the rest of the team.
Two schools of thought come to different conclusions. On one hand, Martin is an older player. Training camp, going through motions generally doesn’t mean as much to older players, and knowing the role Martin will play as Tyson Chandler’s back-up, it’s very possible the Knicks want to preserve him.
On the other hand, Knicks fans don’t need any reminder that the team tends to cover up injuries until the worst possible moment. It’s happened once already this camp with Amar’e Stoudemire, and during the season, too, with J.R. Smith. When Mike Woodson claims Martin’s body is “good,” it tends to raise some red flags. Similarly, the stationary bike is often used for injured players, especially those that cannot run or need to stay loose during games. If it’s the former with Martin, that’s a problem. If it’s the latter, it may just be precautionary, avoiding the risk of Martin exacerbating a tweak into something worse.
Keep in mind that this is Martin’s first training camp in the last two seasons. In 2011-12 he joined the Los Angeles Clippers late in the season; the same as he did last year with the Knicks. In both cases, he proved durable and fit, seemingly immediately ready for NBA action. This time around, Martin knew he’d have a team to report to when camp began, so, like he said, it seems that he’s already in shape.
Let’s hope this is just an old person thing.