Kenyon Lee Martin (born December 30, 1977) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of China. The 6’9″ power forward played college basketball for Cincinnati before being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.
As a rookie for the New Jersey Nets, Martin averaged 12 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and finished second in voting for NBA Rookie of the Year. In his second season, Martin averaged 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game in helping the Nets rise from last place in the Atlantic Division to an Eastern Conference title and the best season to date in the Nets’ NBA history. Along with Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn and Richard Jefferson, Martin led the Nets to the 2002 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers. In his third season Martin again helped his team into the NBA finals, where the Nets lost in six games to the San Antonio Spurs. The next year, Martin averaged 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks en route to his first NBA All-Star selection, as a backup forward for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. In the 2004 NBA All-Star Game, Martin scored 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 assists.
At the end of the 2003–04 season, Martin was traded to the Denver Nuggets for three future first-round draft picks in a sign-and-trade deal.
Martin played in 70 games during the 2004–05 season, averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds; however, a problem with his knee was detected shortly into the off-season, and on May 16, 2005, Kenyon underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee. Martin is believed to be the first NBA player to have, and to return from, microfracture surgery on both knees.
Martin was fined $15,000 by the NBA when, during the third quarter of a 2006 game against the Chicago Bulls, Martin as well as some of his friends got into a verbal altercation with some fans. He was also cautioned to no longer bring his entourage to games. To symbolize a fresh start to his career, Kenyon changed his uniform number from 6 to the number 4, which he wore in college, for the 2007–08 season.
Martin became an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2011; however, due to the 2011 NBA lockout, he opted to sign a one-year contract with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. His contract reportedly would have made him the highest paid player in the Chinese league’s history.On December 24, 2011, Martin was released from the club so that he could “take care of family affairs”. Martin was initially not allowed to return to the NBA until the Flying Tigers’ season ended on February 15, 2012, if not later due to the 2012 CBA Playoffs.
On February 3, 2012, Martin signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. In his first game with the Clippers, Martin scored 6 points and collected four rebounds in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On February 21, 2013, Martin agreed to join the New York Knicks on a 10-day contract. He officially joined the team on February 23. He was signed to a second 10-day contract on March 5, and signed for the remainder of the season on March 15.
On January 9, 2015, Martin signed a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. He made his Bucks debut later that night, recording 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 block in the 98-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He went on to sign a second 10-day contract with the Bucks on January 19, and for the rest of the 2014–15 season on January 29.
On February 19, 2015, Martin was waived by the Bucks.
On July 3, 2015, Martin announced his retirement from professional basketball.
Career highlights and awards
Points 9,325 (12.3 ppg)
Rebounds 5,159 (6.8 rpg)
Assists 1,439 (1.9 apg)
NBA All-Star (2004)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2001)
National college player of the year (2000)
Consensus first-team All-American (2000)
NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2000)
Conference USA Player of the Year (2000)
2× First-team All-Conference USA (1999, 2000)
FIBA Americas Championship
Gold medal – first place 2003 San Juan National team
Gold medal – first place 2001 Brisbane National team
Gold medal – first place 1999 Palma National team