DENVER (AP)—Kenyon Martin(notes) won’t rush his rehab from knee surgery with no contract beyond this season.
“The last year of my deal; everybody knows that,” the Denver Nuggets forward said Thursday. “Ain’t nobody in a hurry to give me one … so why would I be in a hurry to risk further injury? I’m not rushing into it.”
The 32-year-old veteran said he didn’t want to become a free agent, but he also made clear he wasn’t exactly pleased with the Nuggets. He was hoping for an extension and wasn’t happy they signed Al Harrington(notes) to a five-year, $33 million contract this offseason, a deal he said could have been offered to him.
“I have no problem with Al. I love Al. We’ve known each other for 10, 11 years now,” Martin said. “Me and that man play the same position. I just feel they could have extended that offer to me. I feel with what I’ve done and what we’ve accomplished as a team around here got overlooked.
“I don’t know what the plan is, and it doesn’t seem like it includes Kenyon past this year. I’m going to strap them up. Nobody ever gave me nothing. I’ve earned what I got, so I’m going to earn the next one, whether it’s here or anywhere else.”
Martin’s health would explain the Nuggets’ reluctance. He has had an injury-riddled tenure in Denver that includes microfracture surgery on both knees. This past offseason he had surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in his left knee.
Martin opted to have his most recent knee surgery done by Vail, Colo., knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman and not the Denver team doctors, a decision that coach George Karl said the team wasn’t entirely comfortable with.
“Philosophically that’s something for a personnel guy,” Karl said. “When you bring it up you probably say probably not. There are more and more players going outside the organization for their opinion. I think they have a right to choose who works on them.”
Martin will earn $16.5 million in the final season of the seven-year, $93 million contract he signed in 2004.
Martin wouldn’t say when he would get back on the court. He is working in the weight room and with strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess, but he is not participating in any basketball activities.
He said he was following the rehab schedule mapped out by Steadman.
“He’s the best in the world at knees. If I don’t listen to him then I’d be an idiot,” Martin said. “He operates on nothing but knees. I ain’t won a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing, so I’m going to do what that man tells me to do to a T. He did the microfracture on my right knee and I haven’t had one problem since. …
“It’s not my first rehab. I know how to approach it. I definitely want to be on the court, but right now it’s not the time.”