Is Kevin Martin Soft?



Short answer? No. Long answer? No. Is Kevin Martin injury prone? Eh, tough call since most of his injures are freak, but, Kevin Martin is not a soft player.

Around the interwebz, you’ll see a variety of views and emotions directed at Mr. Martin, most of which are negative and some even downright jackoff-ish, despite the fact that Martin, if the decision were his to make, would have played through a fractured hand. Now, tell me where that is soft exactly?

If I get a paper cut I’m already halfway down the road to the Emergency Room and you are too.

Kings broadcaster and local radio personality Grant Napear ripped into Martin for not playing through the injury, even though the Kings refused to ever give him that option. Kings beat writer Sam Amick ripped into Napear for shooting off without much knowledge of the situation earlier today, which you can find here (with a small excerpt below):

Grant Napear, who is the team’s television commentator and an afternoon talk show host for sports station KHTK, routinely criticized Martin for his decision to not play through a left ankle bone bruise that limited him to 51 games last season.

There was a similar tone to the on-air discussion Wednesday surrounding his latest injury. Before the diagnosis was in, a large portion of the show was spent with Napear and co-host Mike Lamb discussing the topic of toughness in the context of Martin’s questionable status.

There were numerous comparisons to rookie Tyreke Evans, with the point being made Evans played through his own ankle injury recently and appeared to have an inherent toughness Martin did not.

While Napear cautioned the listeners to wait and see if Martin played against Atlanta before criticizing him again, Napear added: “If he doesn’t play tonight (Wednesday), then go ahead and call up tomorrow and kill him and I have no problem with that.”

In addition to ticking off Sam Amick, Grant has done his job pissing off current and ex-Sacramento Kings as well.

When told of Napear’s comments, Kevin Martin responded with:

“That just shows you what type of guy (Napear) is,” said Martin, who opted for surgery over wearing a cast but was told he could not play through the injury.

“He didn’t know the injury, that I was playing with a broken bone the other night. Nobody knew it was broken. I didn’t know it was broken. And just like right now, I want to play. But I can’t.”

Ex-King and current member of the organization Bobby Jackson chimed in with similar comments as Napear ripped Jackson for not playing in the 2004 playoffs. In addition to Jackson, there are other ex-Kings who’ve had their issues with Napear and his comments…from Chris Webber to Jim Jackson.

Now, this wasn’t meant to blast Napear…but he needs to keep his mouth shut in particular situations – and this was one of them. While most hairline fractures aren’t too catastrophic and many times one can play through them…this particular one risked his future well being. One wrong hit on that hand and it would cause a severe case of arthritis for the rest of his life.

I’m not a Kevin Martin homer in the least bit. But I do understand that he plays hard and performs. Yes, he’s had some odd and freak injuries and if one wants to call him injury prone, that’s their choice. And if moving Kevin Martin is something one thinks the Kings need to do, that’s fine too. But Kevin Martin is not a soft player…never has been…and never will be.

Martin is expected to miss at least 8 weeks as doctors recommended surgery. He will have screws put in place on Monday morning.

The Kings plan to start Beno Udrih at the two guard tonight in Utah and continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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