Kevin Martin Is Heavily Underrated

In college, Kevin Martin was a star. In his 3 seasons at Western Carolina, Martin was able to have carreer averages of 23.3 ppg, 1.7 ast, 4.5 rpg, on 46.2% from the field and 34.6% from three. Despite being one of the nations best scorers for 3 consequitive years, the sharpshooter fell to the 26th pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

What’s interesting about Martins career, is that it took him two years to really kick things into gear. An injury to Bonzi Wells in the 2005-2006 season thrusted him into the starting lineup for Sacramento, and the rest is history. His best year was the following season, 2006-07. He led the team in scoring (20.2), three point percentage (38%), as well as field goal percentage (47%), those shootung splits cemented him as one of the leagues most promising sharpshooters. The Kings implemented their offensive system around Martin, giving the Kings hope for next year, as they fell short of a playoff spot finishing the season 33-49. 


The next three years Martin didn’t disappoint as he maintained scoring 20+ points, but it was clear that the Kings weren’t going anywhere as their record got progressively worse, and it wasn’t all on Martin. 

Three years into his 5-yr/$55m deal the Kings traded Martin to Houston in a three team deal that included Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey, Kevin Martin, Kenny Thomas, Hilton Armstrong and Sergio Rodriguez. 

Martin learned of the news on the team bus and was crushed that he was being dealt. “It’s a sad day for me in the sense that Sac was the first team that took a chance for me late in the first round of the draft,” Martin said from the team bus. “They showed so much loyalty to me throughout the years. They gave me the big contract to show that you loved me…(But) I just think it was time for us to go in a different direction. I was the young guy before, and now I’m the oldest starter. I think it’s good.” (via Sam Amick Blog). 

Photo from

Houston never saw the postseason during Martin’s time with the Rockets, and unfortunately that was the resume he accumulated over his whole career. He was a guy who could flat out score the basketball, but could never push his respective team over that hump and compete for a title when he was in a position to. Throughout his career he only saw the post season three times. Two of those years came on the back end of his career, and his first look at the playoffs came when he was 22 and inexperienced.

A talented player who just got unlucky. Put Martin in the right system in his prime and I believe we would be describing a different narrative. The problem with Martin is that he was too talented, Sacramento acquired a lot of value through the deal, leaving Martin with no pieces or old washed up stars to surround him in Houston. Needless to say this makes Martin one of the most underrated players in NBA history.

Another reason why Martin didn’t have a successful career in terms of accolades is that he could never seem to keep himself healthy. He only accumulated five seasons where he was available for more than 68 games. That hurts a franchise when your star player can’t stay on the court consistently. 

His only standout season was the 2006-07 season as I mentioned previously, and ended up coming in second in the Most Improved Player race, losing to rising star Monta Ellis. 

I wish the narrative was different because I actually loved Kevin Martin, but he will just be forever known as another forgotten talent that came through the league.



NBA Recommends That Players Disengage with Fans due to CoronaVirus

The CoronaVirus has spread across the entire globe and is causing all sorts of panic. To anyone who doesn’t know what the virus is they are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 can be lethal. (World Health Organization) On  Sunday, an announcement was released by the NBA regarding players to stay away from any hand to hand contact or engagement with fans. This includes high fives, autographs, etc. causing an uproar from the NBA’s fan base.

Ultimately, people need to look at this at a deeper level and respect the fact that Adam Silver and NBA executives are concerned for the safety of its players. Among many things, Silver has made great strides to make the NBA a better and more efficient league. According to CBS Sports, cases of the virus in North America have been minimal. The bigger issue at hand is the impact of the disease on foreign countries that the NBA scouts players year round. I can understand this because prospects overseas usually visit and work out with teams before the draft and it starts around this time of year. 

I would suppose once the issue resolved itself that this recommendation will be lifted and things will go back to normal. From a fan standpoint it is disappointing when we work those extra hours and drive that extra distance to see the LeBron’s and Giannis of the league and to be limited to not even getting a high five or an autograph, but from face value I think any NBA fanatic would understand the bigger picture.


Devonte Graham Is Here To Stay

Devonte’ Graham is lighting up ‘Buzz City’, and it’s going to stay that way. Wake up, no more sleep. If you have been watching him, you’d know he’s special. It was only a matter of time until he started to play like this. Graham plays with more heart than your favorite player, every time he steps on the court. His effort alone has lifted his team, and single-handedly into the playoff mix. Former franchise Player Kemba Walker left, and veteran point guard Tony Parker retired, therefor a void of shots and play making opportunists became. Many overlooked the heist Charlotte pulled off with the 34th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. Many thought Terry Rozier would be filling those shoes, but clearly that is not the case.

It’s the hometown kid from Raleigh who’s filling them. First coming off the bench, he established himself next to “Sweet Lou” Williams in the ranks of effective players off the pine. He is leading all reserves in three-point percentage, while being in the top three in points. He and “Scary Terry” now have the most combined three-pointers by any back court so far.

Graham was a in fact a polished product coming out of college. If you know basketball, you know he was a nothing short of a star at the prolific Kansas University. His long list of accolades reflect this.

Graham will excel as a starting combo guard. He shared the court with another point guard and Big 12 player of the year, Frank Mason III. He was first team all Big 12 Defense his second year. As a senior, his assists nearly doubled from four to seven while averaging seventeen points on 38 minutes per game. This extra year assured his game as a court general was complete, he was league ready.

Graham will continue to torch whoever has the misfortune of guarding him. He put a show on Frank Ntilikina in Madison Square Garden. RJ Barret simply could not guard him. Both, especially Ntilikina, are good defenders. This is what he figures to do to any given back court on any given night. His shot making and control over the game makes him undeniable. One guy is not enough to stop him. Adding onto his scoring ability, his court vision is second to none. He takes advantage of this by extending his range, and heavily involving his teammates. His assist total is only outdone by LeBron James and Luka Doncic. James Harden is the only player with more made three’s, but he’s doing it on 100 more attempts…

I meant this when I said it, and dammit, I’m doubling then tripling down. If I were starting a franchise, I would take Devonte’ Graham over Ben Simmons at point guard. Please @ me, here’s the statement via Instagram: “Peep PGs from Ben’s “rookie class” that I would put my team in the hands of rather than ROTY front runner and coward”. This was Ben Simmons slander, click the link and you should get the joke. However, Devonte’ Graham is no joke. His name should never, in the past/ present/ or future, be slandered. His arrival should not be taken lightly. The league has been put on notice. Look at the stats, then watch the games. Devonte’ Graham will always be that dude.

An OG OJ Joint

Ask KB 2: More of Your Questions Answered

Why do you hate Mav’s city jersey? – @andrew_b22:

Kristpas Prozingis shows in New Jersey

My brother and I clearly have conflicting arguments on the new Dallas Mavericks jersey. He loves it and wants one, and I absolutely hate it. Like what is that supposed to be, it’s embarrassing that men playing basketball at the highest level in the world are wearing trash like that. The one from last year was trash too, and I like the colorway that they have, but throwing in the gradient and the green was a terrible decision. The font that says “MAVS” looks like it belongs on a wall in an alleyway, and certainly not on an NBA uniform. I feel bad for Mavericks players and fans, and lack the understanding people have that actually think this jersey looks good. Maybe I’ll assume the role of NLJ fashion guru in the future, but for now all I can say is that Dallas messed up.

Will Portland turn it around, if not do you see Lillard/McCollum staying? – @bradyperlz

It’s really hard to tell with Portland, because last year they were really good and this year they have started off 5-12, which is second worst in the west. This isn’t good by any means, and is not what the Trailblazers were expecting. Melo probably isn’t the answer, but you never know. He could be what turns them back into playoff contention. With all of the loaded rosters in the league, the Blazers can’t compete on paper, and if this season plays out anything like it started, a trade could be in order for Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum. I have a hard time believing Dame will ever be traded, but I’m sure CJ is intriguing for a lot of teams. He’s much more affordable, and could be the one piece a teem needs to make them a contender. If the Trailblazers keep going down hill, it could get blown up in Portland. 

Will Lamelo Ball be the number 1 pick? – @benwertheim17

It’s hard to tell at this point especially because Lamelo is overseas and all other top pick candidates are in college. I haven’t watched a lot of college yet this year, and I’ve only looked briefly at the top prospects so I don’t know for sure how Ball would stack up with the rest of the talent. However, if I have the first pick, I’m taking James Wiseman, eligible or not. He seems like he’s the best player that’s going to be coming in to the NBA. There’s a lot of good players at the top of the class, such as fun to watch guard Cole Anthony, and of course Lamelo is in the top tier of prospects. Anthony Edwards is a player I like a lot, I think he has a chance to be really good, and for now should stay in consideration as a top pick. Deni Avdija rounds out my top 5 early on in the year, a pretty big forward who is skilled with the ball in his hands and can shoot is pretty dangerous. Could we see Lamelo get taken #1? We absolutely could, but he’s not my choice for the first pick right now. 

Are the Celtics a finals caliber team? – @11eif

The majority of my followers are Celtics fans, so this answer will either make everyone happy, or piss them all off. I think the Celtics could win the east. Will they, I don’t know. I would still be worried about Philly and Milwaukee because they’re both really good teams. Giannis is Giannis, and the Bucks are still very good like last year. I won’t be surprised if they’re the team to come out of the east. The 76ers have started 11-6, which is not ideal for the expectations we had for them. I still think that if they can put it together they can be really good, especially defensively. They were my pick for the east champion before the season started. It could happen where we get the Sixers in the finals, it’s way too early to count out a team that good. That brings me to Boston. The Celtics got off to a very hot start and it was very promising to the fans, who were excited by the 10 game win streak early in the year. When fully healthy, I think the C’s are right up there with the best in the east, and after the start that they have had, a run at the finals is not out of reach. 


How Good Can Trae Young Really Be

We can all appreciate the excitement we get watching Trae Young play basketball. Many NBA followers, including myself, were a bit skeptical on how his game would translate from college to the NBA. There were concerns about his lack of size and strength, especially on the defensive side of the floor. It was clear he could score and pass due to him having an incredible season at Oklahoma, which shot him up the draft boards. On draft night, the Mavericks sent Young and a future pick to the Hawks in exchange for rookie of the year Luka Doncic. It’s clear the Mavericks are ecstatic with the result of that deal, but the Hawks still got a very good player. Trae Young had a great rookie year, and is very promising so far, but how good can he really be?

During the creation of this article, Trae Young left a game with an ankle injury. With an MRI pending, it doesn’t seem like the injury isn’t too serious, but it could sideline him for a little bit in the beginning of this season. An injury like this shouldn’t affect the long term result of Trae’s career.

Ice Trae turned it up in the second half of last season, ending the year averaging 19.1 points and 8.1 assists. He made a real push for rookie of the year, ultimately finishing second in the voting behind the incredible season by Luka Doncic. He has drawn comparisons to Steph Curry, and whenever someone is compared to a 2 time MVP they must be doing something right. Now I’m not saying Trae Young is Steph Curry; nobody is Steph Curry, but Young has similarities. The two Small guards are crafty, can shoot the lights out, and pass to their teammates at a good rate. He has set himself up for a pretty solid career if he can keep improving every year, and could very well be in the top tier of point guards within the next few seasons.

We are witnessing the beginning of what could be a great NBA career. The sky’s the limit for Trae Young, and he’s a fun player to watch. He can become a real superstar in the NBA if he keeps getting better, and the rest of the league will have to watch out for Trae Young.