Quantcast
Latest Stories

Martin looking forward to reclaiming scoring touch



Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, left, holds a jersey with newly introduced player Kevin Martin during an NBA basketball news conference at Target Center, Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, in Minneapolis. In July, Martin signed a four-year deal that will pay him nearly $28 million. AP

MINNEAPOLIS – When it became clear to Kevin Martin that returning to Oklahoma City wasn’t an option, one of his first thoughts was to reunite with Rick Adelman, the coach who got him started in the NBA in Sacramento and later helped him become an offensive force in Houston.

As much as Martin wanted to play for Adelman, who will begin his third season as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves in October, it still wasn’t exactly clear to him if the desire to get back together was mutual. Adelman is one of the most accomplished coaches in the game, and also one of the hardest to read. He rarely shows much emotion and is known as much for a curmudgeonly demeanor as he is for his famed corner offense.

That question was emphatically answered when Martin came to Minnesota in July to sign a four-year deal that will pay him nearly $28 million.

”He gave me a hug,” Martin remembered on Monday at his introductory press conference. ”As we all know Rick, he’s not the guy to do anything like that, so that’s when it kind of hit the stamp on my decision.”

Martin played for Adelman during his first two seasons in the league with the Kings, and then spent two more years with him in Houston. In their final season together, Martin averaged 23.5 points, shot 38 percent on 3-pointers and attempted more than seven free throws a game for the Rockets. When Adelman left, Martin didn’t fit in with new coach Kevin McHale’s system, and he averaged 14 points per game last year in a supporting role with the Thunder.

Now back under Adelman’s tutelage, and playing for a team that desperately needs more scoring punch in the backcourt, Martin is ready to resume his role as a go-to scorer.

New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders made adding size and 3-point range at shooting guard his biggest priorities, and it didn’t take long for him to zero in on Martin after having discussions with O.J. Mayo and J.J. Redick as well. Martin shot a career-high 42.6 percent from 3-point range last season and knows Adelman’s offense – built on an intricate web of passing and cutting without the ball – as well as anyone.

Saunders said Monday that they were looking for a guy who could give them 17-18 points a game at the spot next season after years of dealing with underperformance at that position.

”I have no pressure doing that,” Martin said. ”I feel I can do that in my sleep.”

Martin said it will be a challenge to get back to the 23.5 he averaged in Houston in 2010-11, but he is shooting for 22 per game. If the Wolves get that kind of production to go with Ricky Rubio, the healthy return of Kevin Love and the anticipated re-signing of restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic, their first playoff berth since 2004 could be well within reach.

As much as Saunders is looking forward to Martin’s production on the court, he is also anxious to see the impact of his presence in a young locker room. The 30-year-old is entering his 10th season and has built a reputation as a hard worker and good locker room guy. Martin has already reached out to first-round draft pick Shabazz Muhammad, who was kicked out of the NBA’s rookie transition program last week for violating event rules by bringing a woman to his hotel room.

Saunders said the team won’t impose any more discipline on Muhammad, who will have to attend the program again next year.

”The biggest thing in any situation where there are rules and guidelines, you have to abide by them,” Saunders said. ”That shows discipline. As I explained to him, part of being successful at our level is being disciplined, both on and off the court.”

For now, Martin is headed back to Florida to start a six-week training program with longtime trainer David Thorpe and several other NBA players, including new teammate Corey Brewer. He knows that if he wants to play bigger minutes and have bigger responsibilities at his age, he can’t afford to take any short cuts.

”I’m hungry for it,” he said.

NOTES: Saunders has been granted permission by the Washington Wizards to talk to assistant GM Milt Newton about a position in the Timberwolves’ front office. … F Robbie Hummel, G Othyus Jeffers and G Lorenzo Brown have received invites to training camp, Saunders said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Basketball , Flip Saunders , Kevin Martin , Minnesota Timberwolves , NBA , Oklahoma City Thuunder , Rick Adelman , Sports

  • UrHONOR

    Yeah, Kevin…you did great as a KING!



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • N. Korea finally offers condolences over ferry tragedy
  • 16 CADPI sugar refinery workers now out of danger after toxic shower in Batangas
  • PNP denies Purisima’s involvement in questionable deal with courier firm
  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist hostage
  • Sports

  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Cha cha train to follow Obama visit?
  • Marketplace