Kenyon Martin out for season; Nuggets coaches, players go about their business
ESPN.com today reported that Kenyon Martin will undergo season-ending knee surgery, an announcement which has left the Denver coaching staff not scrambling or hindered in any way.
An unconcerned Coach George Karl reacted, "Yeah, ever since we signed Kenyon in '04, we've been practicing and planning for every game as though he's going to be hurt. So if he shows up we're like, cool, icing on the cake. Now that we know he's done for the year, it's actually kind of nice, it's one less thing to worry about."
For the past year, on the rare instances when Martin has been healthy, Karl has had second-string forward Eduardo Najera run every drill in practice right along Martin's side, with Karl giving instruction only to Najera then finishing every practice by saying "Martin, if you're healthy, just do what I told him." The Nuggets even had the names of Carmelo Anthony and Najera engraved onto their lineup card as the starting forwards, but Karl indicated that there was more than enough space in the margin to write in Martin's name and an arrow, if need be.
The Nuggets' cautious relationship with Martin dates back to his initial contract signing with Denver, when the team fitted him for custom $80,000 knee braces with the initials "KM" on them, in addition to taking out a $1 billion life insurance policy on Martin, a policy usually reserved for excessively wealthy CEOs and European royalty.
"Kenyon Martin Bobblehead Night" is scheduled for December 18, but stadium officials admit that they just made that up, they knew he wouldn't be playing.