Exclusive Interview with Kenyon
Kenyon Martin is without a doubt one
of the most exciting players in the league. After a
rookie season hampered by injury, Grand Kenyon has stayed
healthy this year and become the insanely explosive
dunker and all-around talented player everyone expected
he would. He's still improving, and will become a much
better player with time, but right now the action-packed
show in New Jersey features Martin throwing down the
nastiest dunks around. Inside Hoops' main man Jeff recently
caught up with Kenyon after the Nets demolished the
Knicks in front of a rare packed house in the Garden
State and asked questions specifically requested by
fans writing in to InsideHoops.
InsideHoops.com: When did you
first throw down a dunk?
Kenyon: First dunk, I was in seventh
InsideHoops.com: How tall were
you back then?
Kenyon: I don't recall...
InsideHoops.com: And where was
Kenyon: At my junior high school.
InsideHoops.com: During a game
or during practice?
Kenyon: Naw, practice... just
InsideHoops.com: And at what point
did you go from just being able to dunk to throw down
nasty slams on people?
Kenyon: Freshman year, freshman
in high school. I just wanted to throw it on people.
My first one, I was a freshman, it was the starting
center on the varsity team - on him.
InsideHoops.com: And when did
you get your growth spurt?
Kenyon: I grew every summer, from
high school on. I was 6'4" my freshman... I had
my growth spurt really like right before my freshman
year of high school, and I grew two inches every summer.
I was 6'6" my sophomore year, I was 6'8" my
InsideHoops.com: And did you do
Kenyon: Never... Natural... Natural, God-given ability.
InsideHoops.com: And who were your favorite players or
teams growing up?
Kenyon: Growing up, I liked the Detroit Pistons...
InsideHoops.com: Which players, and why...
Kenyon: I liked the whole team. Isiah, Joe Dumars, Vinnie,
Adrian Dantley, you name it... Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn...
InsideHoops.com: Was basketball always your main sport?
Kenyon: I played football and baseball growing up...
InsideHoops.com: As for the NBA
Slam Dunk contest, why is it fading away like this?
Kenyon: Guys don't want to do
it now, and I don't understand why. It's for the fans,
they got guys in the league that can jump, that can
do some fantastic things...
InsideHoops.com: And do you think
it's the responsibility of the superstar dunkers to
be in this thing?
Kenyon: I think so, I think so.
You're giving people something to come out and see,
you got guys - not to take nothing away from the guys
in the dunk contest this year, but you know, they're
not real well known around the league...
InsideHoops.com: The fans are
looking for Kobe, Vince...
Kenyon: Kobe, Carter, Tracy and
those guys. The biggest name in that one was Steve.
I think it's unfair to the fans.