When it looked like the 2011-12 NBA season would be lost, a handful of players decided to play over in China, including Aaron Brooks, J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler and Kenyon Martin. These players knew they were taking a risk because if the lockout was resolved, they wouldn’t be allowed to return to the NBA until the Chinese basketball season was over in March.
Well, now that the lockout is over and the NBA season is starting, all those players won’t be able to rejoin their teams. According to Yahoo Sports, most of the players won’t mind sticking it out with their Chinese teams, but Kenyon Martin has had enough. He’s leaving his team, the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers, even though he won’t be able to come back to the NBA.
It seems like Martin’s excursion to China wasn’t quite what he hoped it would be.
“For Martin and Xinjiang, this breakup was simply a chance to end a partnership that hadn’t been productive. Martin, who turns 34 on Dec. 30, had been nothing resembling a dominant force in the CBA, averaging 14 points and seven rebounds in a league with few NBA-level big men.”
Martin’s team went 8-4 during his 12 games, and the coach was fired. This trip to China may have actually done a lot more harm than good. NBA teams that were thinking about signing the unrestricted free agent now have to take a step back and figure out why he wasn’t playing above the lower level of competition.
K-Mart is only going to get the pro-rated portion of his $2.6 million salary, and he’ll have to be without a paycheck until the Flying Tigers’ season is over.
I’m not sure why he would want to leave. Even if you’re not playing your best, you’re still guaranteed that money. Why would you give that up to sit at home and wait until you can play NBA ball again? Obviously this isn’t the first dumb thing Kenyon Martin has ever done, but abandoning his team doesn’t help his image of being a punk. For his sake, I hope he doesn’t get too fat during another “extended offseason.”