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Bad reputation

New Jersey's Martin developing rep as a dirty player

Posted: Monday January 07, 2002 10:04 PM
Updated: Tuesday January 08, 2002 2:51 PM

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By Jennifer Cooper,

Kenyon Martin is making a name for himself, but it may not be one he's especially proud of. The former No. 1 overall pick is earning the label of dirty player.

The Nets' second-year forward is serving his second suspension in three weeks -- two games for laying out Tracy McGrady with a forearm as the Magic guard went in for a layup. (The first was one game for a flagrant foul on Karl Malone on Dec. 22.)

Yet another suspension for Martin, who's averaging 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds a game, is a big blow to a New Jersey team that's trying to fend off Boston and stay on top of the Atlantic Division. "We've been through this once before, but we understand what we have to do," Jason Kidd said. "Yes, we'll miss him, but when one of your stars goes down you have to keep playing."

What Kidd failed to mention is that he and the rest of the Nets are hoping Martin does give a damn about his bad reputation and is ready to play nice for a while.

Perfect timing
The only way the script for Michael Jordan's 30,000th point could have been better is if it had been scored in Chicago -- but getting No. 30,000 in a victory against the Bulls was pretty sweet.

Rumors of his demise ...
Last week, a Philadelphia television station reported that Larry Brown was considering stepping down by the time the Sixers returned from their seven-game West Coast swing. Well, the trip ended in Portland on Saturday, and Brown was on the bench for his team's game against the Clippers on Monday. Stay tuned.

Our favorite newsmaker
Dennis Rodman can't stay out of the headlines. "The Worm" had yet another run-in with the Newport Beach, Calif., police department Saturday, when he was arrested outside his seaside restaurant. Rodman was taken in on suspicion of obstructing and delaying officers investigating a possible violation of a Business and Profession Code, which restricts the hours of alcohol beverage service after 2 a.m.

SWISH: Troy Hudson
In an attempt to step up for a Magic team that's desperate for offense, the fifth-year guard averaged 20 points in Orlando's past two games, both wins. Hudson went 15-of-22 from the floor (68 percent), including 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point line.

BRICK: James Posey
Speaking of desperate teams, Posey hasn't fared as well for the struggling Nuggets. Before a 28-point outburst against the Clippers on Friday, the third-year swingman had made only 7-of-25 shots (28 percent) in Denver's previous three games.

SWISH: Chris Webber
It looks as if C-Webb has finally shaken off the lingering effects of that badly sprained ankle. The All-Star forward averaged 28.6 points on 50 percent shooting in Sacramento's past three games.

BRICK: Pau Gasol
The Grizzlies' Spanish sensation has cooled off a bit. In his team's past two games, Gasol averaged only 10 points on 6-of-22 shooting (26 percent). But that doesn't mean he's not working -- he pulled down a total of 23 rebounds in those two games.

SWISH: Sacramento Kings
Thanks largely to the healthy play of Webber, the Kings are the proud owners of the league's longest winning streak (seven games). They've averaged 113.6 points in that stretch, holding their opponents to an average of 97.7.

BRICK: Boston Celtics
The Celtics gave their worst offensive performance of the season in an 89-66 loss to Miami on Friday. Boston shot only 22-for-77 (29 percent) from the field as its seven-game winning streak came to an end. Paul Pierce, the league's second-leading scorer, shot 5-for-19.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, 8 p.m. EST
In a game that will feature three leading vote-getters in balloting for the All-Star Game -- Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett -- the T'wolves will try to avenge a Dec. 1 loss to the Lakers. L.A. won the first meeting 102-76 on the strength of a 56-30 second-half edge.

Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Friday, 8:30 p.m. EST
In the teams' first meeting, on Nov. 14, Milwaukee converted 10 of 21 from 3-point range, including two each from Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Tim Thomas and Michael Redd in a 107-98 victory. But that was before the Wizards got their act together; they've gone 15-7 since that early-season loss.

Thanks to his Herculean efforts during the holidays (51 points vs. the Hornets and 45 vs. the Nets), Jordan has cracked the NBA's top 10 scorers, averaging 24.6 points per game. He's officially No. 8, right behind Tim Duncan (25.4) and Shaq (25.8).
While it may look as if Dallas' Steve Nash has taken his place among the league's elite point guards, Off the Glass says don't be fooled by the hype. Guys like Gary Payton and Stephon Marbury are still the stat machines, with each going for more than 20 points, eight assists and a steal a night.
In response to last week's question -- "Which GM should be on the hot seat?" -- there were only five nominees, but three of those guys really racked up the votes. While Bob Whitsitt and Garry St. Jean received honorable mentions, Jerry Krause, Scott Layden and Pat Riley took home the honors. Here's a sampling of the responses:

Oh my God. I can't believe that this is a question. It has to be Krause! What a mess.
Venkatesh Iyer, L.A.

Jerry Krause has made the poorest decisions in the past five seasons. He has no team, no coach and no future with Chicago.
Aaron Goodwin, Tulsa, Okla.

Scott Layden. Bad draft picks + bad trades = bad team with no cap room to make it better. Time to go.
Ben, Hong Kong

It's got to be Scott Layden of the Knicks. You cannot have the highest payroll in the league, an inexperienced head coach, a small team and a poor standing in blue-collar East and yet be sure of your job!
Vijay, New York

Pat Riley. He's publicly admitted that the Heat's woes are on his shoulders. Miami should seriously reconsider the amount of power that it has bestowed upon Mr. Riley.
Will, Whittier, Calif.


This week's topic: Who's your favorite NBA announcer?

Your name:
Your e-mail address:
Your hometown:
Your take here (in 25 words or less)

Jennifer Cooper covers the NBA for "Week at a Glance" appears each Monday during the season.


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