He wants to play.
Seventy-seven games with a hairline fracture in the left wrist that won't heal so long as he's having it pounded by fellow NBA types and will likely end up causing arthritis eventually. And Kevin Martin wants to play.
But there's a decision to make that won't be entirely made by him and sleep wasn't the answer, especially since he had a hard time getting any. I got in touch with the Kings shooting guard late last night, and he was wrestling over the decision that faced him.
He is scheduled to discuss the matter with the medical professionals and a local hand specialist this morning, at which point it sounds as if the only two options presented him may be to put it in a cast or have surgery. He sought the player opinion first, however, talking at length with Bobby Jackson and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson last night to discuss his situation.
Jackson could relate on numerous fronts, having missed significant time after fracturing a knuckle on his left hand on Christmas Day 2002 and later tearing a ligament in his left wrist late in the 2004-05 season that kept him out for four months. He knows what it feels like to be unfairly questioned, too.
Jackson, to review, was the warrior of a sixth man who somehow found himself being dubbed soft when his abdominal strain kept him out of the 2004 playoffs. Some of those same uneducated voices are the ones questioning Martin's heart now, just as they did last season when his left ankle bone bruise kept him out of 31 games. Equally unjust.
There are credibility issues all over this thing, but the fact of the matter is that much of the skepticism sprouts from in-house and spills over into the mouthpieces who set the tone with the fans. It's a big problem that could have big consequences. We'll get into that more in the paper.
For now, we'll leave it there. If I had to guess at this point, I say Martin will be out and the Kings will be out of luck. Even if Martin wants to play.
- Sam Amick