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Kevin Martin's No-Win Situation

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Kevin Martin's really in a pickle. The Bee reports that today Martin will decide whether to undergo surgery to repair his broken wrist (missing 6-8 weeks), sit 6-8 weeks in the hopes it will heal on its own, or slap on a soft cast and play through it, risking a full break (and a longer recovery).

The "smart" move would be to get the wrist fixed. You don't drive on a tire with a leak, and you don't play professional basketball with a wrist fracture that could turn into a full break. This isn't a Kobe's finger comparison. Kobe tore the ligament on his pinky. A broken wrist is just a bit more serious. If you doubt that analysis, go join a pick-up game with your pinky taped to your ring finger, and compare that with trying to play with one arm taped behind your back. Comparing this to Kobe's finger injury is disingenuous.

But Martin has an unfair reputation around here as being soft. Because, you know, men plays on crumbling ankles and shredded groins. It's as if it is Kevin's fault he experienced a bone bruise last year! Not to (again) draw someone else's name into this, but you don't see anyone questioning Francisco Garcia's toughness, and he will have missed more games than Martin over two years. Is it because we know what a broken arm looks like, but we can't quite envision a serious bone bruise in the ankle? Is it because a catastrophic exercise ball failure is more illustrative than a degenerative condition made worse by activity and better only through rest? Are we really that simple, Sacramento?

Because of that unfair reputation, if Martin decides to heal it, he will be pilloried on sports talk radio, by national yuks-yuks, by commenters everywhere. It's 100% bullshit, but it's what will happen. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if some within the franchise turn on him. There's a lot at stake this season, and clearly -- clearly -- Kevin Martin is the most important King in terms of wins and losses. Those with jobs on the line (this means within the front office) could see Martin allowing the fracture to heal as a sort of betrayal, a lack of consideration for the own futures. Which is of course -- again -- 100% bullshit.

This is the pressure Kevin Martin faces today. It's unfortunate the situation has gotten to these depths locally, where a team's star player has to worry about his reputation when making a very serious medical decision. I hope he ignores the haters and does what he really believes he needs to do, whether that's to heal or to risk it. We're fans, and we support the team, and we all will be affected by his decision. But it's his decision, dammit, and it's Kevin Martin who has to live with it.