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Every sports blogger is a frustrated general manager. I have plenty of friends who are Cowboy fans. Most of them have traded Tony Romo a dozen times . . . or gave him concrete shoes and sunk him to the bottom of a lake.

The Grizz are my team, and I’m no different. In the past, I’ve made cases for players the Grizz should pursue in free agency or trade. About a year before he began Z-Bounding on Beale, I made a case for Zach Randolph. That worked out pretty good, I’d say. I also made a case that Allen Iverson would be The Answer in Memphis . . . and he wasn’t. I even have the dubious distinction of writing a blog that eventually led to the Grizzlies signing Gilbert Arenas.

Things are different now . . . new owner (Robert Pera), new CEO (Jason Levien). While I certainly hope Chris Wallace is still in the mix on player decisions, there’s no way to know. But all that said, I’m going on record that the Grizz should snap up Kenyon Martin. IMMEDIATELY, before someone else does. Here’s why:

I ran across this article announcing that K-Mart wants to play so bad, he’ll play on a bad team for the veteran’s minimum. Kenyon says:

“If someone calls me tomorrow, I don’t care who it is, whether it’s losing or winning at this point,” Martin said, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears. “If someone calls me tomorrow and wants me to come in, I’m going. Guys are going down and [teams] are like, ‘Well, we are going to stick with what we got.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I started questioning myself, ‘Am I that bad of a guy?’

With all the fits that K-Mart gave the Grizzlies last season, you’d think someone would have taken a flier on him. At 34, he can still contribute, providing tough defense in a backup role, like he did last season as Blake Griffin’s backup for the Clippers. So why hasn’t it happened? One man with insight would be Neil Olshey, then-Clippers GM and now, GM for the Portland Trailblazers.

“He demands excellence from everyone around him,” Olshey said. “He expects coaches to be prepared. He expects his teammates to compete at the same high level that he does. The one thing about Kenyon, if guys are not performing and are not as intense or focused on playing winning basketball, he’s not reluctant to let them know about it.”

So let me get this straight: There’s a veteran big man out there with playoff experience. He averaged about 5 ppg & 4 boards over the last part of the season and the playoffs. He’s a tough, intense player . . . you might even say . . . grit & grind? The main knock on him from last season is that HE GETS UPSET WHEN HIS TEAMMATES DON’T PLAY HARD. And he’s willing to sign for the veteran minimum, which in his case would be about $1.35 million.

And I might be a little naive here but on an inside-out team that thrives on post play, interior defense and rebounding, I just don’t think you can have too much depth. Sure, he might ride the pine, particularly when Darrell Arthur heals up. Then again, with all respect to Darrell, can you count on him to stay healthy? K-Mart would be an insurance policy who at worst would insure that an injury to a key big doesn’t derail the season. At best, he becomes a contributor in the rotation and changes games with his energy, intensity, defense and rebounding.

Of course, that’s assuming K-Mart & Hollins can get over their troubled past:

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8 Responses to Blue Light Special: Why The Grizz Should Sign K-Mart (Kenyon Martin)

  1. oldmanGrizzNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other as to the Grizz signing K-Mart. I will say, however, that I don’t believe there is any way that the quote you referenced by Olshey was used in reply to a question as to why no team had signed him. If it was, it was a completely idiotic reply. That statement could only be used to show why a team SHOULD sign him, not why not. There’s no an NBA coach out there that wouldn’t want a player like that.

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      I just referenced the other story, Old Man….I think KMart has earned a reputation for being difficult. Don’t know if its justified or not. But I could see how you could have an uber-competitive guy who just rubs teammates the wrong way, disrupting chemistry.

      I’d worry less about that with the Grizz because they already have a culture of accountability & Hollins would check Kmart just like he does everybody else.

      I suppose it says something that the Clips chose post-flakeout Lamar Odom ahead of K-Mart. Granted Odom is a more versatile player, but still.

  2. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you Lee, K-Mart’s attitude problems would be in check here in Memphis. We seem to be able to turn “bad eggs” into solid, accountable players. And the Grizz hold everyone accountable for their mistakes or their lack of effort, so martin’s work ethic should fit here well. And the guy would be a steal at the vets minimum, especially for a backup.

    I love the video of Hollins swatting that ball back into the stands, seems like he still has those PG reflexes lol

  3. New_Sacred_cowNo Gravatar says:

    Just imaging the amount of attitude on defense with Tony and K-Mart. He could be the X-Factor in the playoffs for us. What if Marc or Mo get hurt? I would much rather have K-Mart as a big than fully rely on Hamed.

  4. Steve DanzigerNo Gravatar says:

    I’d love K-Mart. As old as he is, he’s still athletic for a post player who plays tenacious defense, which is something we sorely lack with the glassman Darrell out. I’ve always liked his game. I’m not outright advocating adding another player and crowding the roster, especially given out tax situation, but I sure as heck wouldn’t complain if we signed him!

  5. RobNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not a Kenyon Martin fan, but I believe you are exactly right. The Grizzlies are known for their defense, Kenyon Martin is known for his defense. It’s simple….we can never have too many big men and too much defense and he is very cheap to pick up.

  6. [...] UPDATE (& Quick REAX by Lee Eric Smith): According to Windhorst’s piece, Ellington is also going. Quick reax: Both of those guys did not quite fulfill expectations so far this season, but assuming the object of a Rudy trade was solely to get under the cap, this should put that to rest. All that said, Mo was fairly consistent in his production, and Wayne could swing games with his shooting, though streaky. Unless another move is on the horizon, I am instantly even MORE concerned about bench scoring . . . And for the record, I think Kenyon Martin is still looking for a team . . . [...]

  7. [...] UPDATE (& Quick REAX by Lee Eric Smith): According to Windhorst’s piece, Ellington is also going. Quick reax: Both of those guys did not quite fulfill expectations so far this season, but assuming the object of a Rudy trade was solely to get under the cap, this should put that to rest. All that said, Mo was fairly consistent in his production, and Wayne could swing games with his shooting, though streaky. Unless another move is on the horizon, I am instantly even MORE concerned about bench scoring . . . And for the record, I think Kenyon Martin is still looking for a team . . . [...]

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