In case you've missed the reaction, on his radio show Monday evening Kings TV play-by-play announcer Grant "Peaches" Napear called Kevin Martin a mentally weak player who can't adjust to life with a star guard teammate, and a player who is woofing it on the court, and whose on-court actions have been reprehensible.
Apparently, in the eyes of the Peach, the fame and glory from a 17-win season as the team's best player has gotten to K-Martin's head. The cat who stumped for Tyreke Evans from Day 1, the kid who heaped copious amounts of praise on Evans all through training camp and preseason and the start of the season and even while Martin was injured ... all of a sudden, this guy, in Peaches World, can't stand to see Reke's success. And this is supposedly mental weakness on the part of Martin.
Martin, who came up unheralded by the outside world in Zanesville, Ohio, population 25,000. Martin, who followed his dream at tiny Western Carolina of the Southern Conference. Martin, who got himself a personal trainer and went from nothing -- nothing -- an early entry player experts all across the nation called a fool for leaving school ... he went from that to the No. 26 in the NBA Draft in two months flat. He went from a rookie who couldn't get out of his warm-ups to a part-time starter for a playoff team. A nothing, a scrub, a perceived mistake ... to:
And from there, he turned himself into a machine. From nothing, he became a top-10 NBA scorer. Mentally weak? One of the most efficient players in the history of the game. Mentally weak? He took less shots than Mike Bibby and Ron Artest in his first season as the full-time starter ... and outscored them both. Mentally weak? He dealt with Bibby telling him that the Kings were Mike's team, and that if anyone averaged 20, it'd be Bibby. He dealt with his coach repeatedly demeaning his game in order to make nice with Artest. He didn't complain once. He continued to spend his summers improving himself, coming into training camp in midseason form (unlike the rest of the team). He worked harder than anyone employed by the franchise. Worked to get better. Worked to make the team better.
That 17-win season crushed him. He didn't ask out. He didn't make a show of demanding changes. He worked his ass off in the gym, he lobbied for Evans behind the scenes, he worked his ass off in the gym, he spread the good word of hoops in Indonesia, he worked with Omri Casspi at IMG in Florida, he worked his ass off in the gym, he came into November screeching. And that's the first time he groused publicly. About what, you ask? About the aforementioned play-by-play man, Napear, who before the fifth game of the season said that if Martin sat due to a wrist injury suffered in the previous game, then fans would be justified in calling Martin soft. Martin played. A post-game MRI showed a broken wrist bone. Martin missed two months. Martin and others (including Bobby Jackson) took Napear to task in a Sam Amick piece on Napear's ridiculous "tough guy" posture in which anyone who sits with less than a life-threatening injury is considered "soft." Napear defended himself, as stupid as it looked. A man who, in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a complete tool, backs down is soft. So he sticks it out, and he waits for an opportunity for retribution.
You think Napear's assault on Martin right now has nothing to do with that Amick story? If so, I've got a Quincy Douby to sell you, and believe me, it is incredible. Peaches never lets go of a grudge, and he's trying to stick it to Martin right now on the airwaves. Martin's in a vulnerable position, with some parts of the Kings fanbase -- Fickleville and Shortsighted Sh*t Stirrer City, I'd call them -- turning. Martin's been in a slump relative to his standard, and the team can't win. This is Napear's opening, and he's taking full advantage with his 50,000-watt bullhorn. This is his Game 7.
And some of these fans are actually buying it.
You know what I consider mentally weak? Using your audience to settle a grudge with someone who had the audacity to publicly call you on your sh*t. The only thing more offensive is that Napear thinks we're all too stupid to see it for what it is.