Kevin Dallas Martin Jr. is an American former professional basketball player who has played 12 seasons at the NBA (National Basketball Association). He played college basketball for Western Carolina University, where in his junior year he ranked second in the nation with an average of 24.9 points per game. After three years at his university, he entered the 2004 NBA draft and was selected with the 26th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings. Later, on April 28, 2016 Kevin had announced his retirement from the NBA.
Recently SNS interviewed the NBA Star on his first visit to India and asked him a few questions about his career and life during and after his retirement. He shared quite a lot of experiences, secrets, and tips for others to follow for a career in basketball.
When asked about what NBA meant to him, Kevin replied with one word… grateful. “I am grateful for the opportunity that NBA has given me to explore a career that I at that time thought was never possible. I am also grateful to the Sacramento Kings for selecting me on my first NBA draft,” he said, remembering the teachings of the NBA which changed his life.
He said he was glad that he got to play in the NBA and be a part of such a great brotherhood. Kevin shared how it was the love of the game that brought him into basketball and pursue it as a career. He talked about how he and his friends from a very early age played on the playgrounds all the time and how it was always more of a get-together and getting good at the game while always loving the game.
Kevin said he still looked back to the games that he played when he was still in the NBA leagues. The one that was most memorable according to him was the playoffs against the Spurs that actually sprang his name out in the NBA League. Kevin also remembered the last game he played in the NBA while being on the San Antonio Spurs. He said, “My last game was memorable because I knew it would be my last game in the NBA. Then walking off the court knowing that I gave it my all through all those tough odds that were put against me ever since a child. Then to walk off the court on my own was pretty satisfying.”
Apart from all the teams that Kevin has played, including Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs, Kevin’s termed Oklahoma City Thunder as favorite team on the court. “It’s because playing with the two superstars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had such a big global impact. It was probably my favorite time because it felt like we won every game,” said the NBA star.
Meanwhile, Kevin had fond memories of Sacramento Kings, the place where he started his NBA career. He said, “Without their support, I might not have been able to sit here and look back on the years I had with his other teams.”
The NBA star also informed that he liked College American Football with Tom Brady from The Patriots being his favorite team and player. “I love the team as the entire sport is highly competitive because losing in this sport just one time could take you out of the season. The Patriots could actually win the Super Bowl this year,” said Kevin.
Citing reason for his retirement, Kevin said, “I think for me it was time to move on from the NBA and do things like what I am doing now going to other countries and inspiring the youth because I was in a situation one time in my life when I needed inspiration and hope so just to be that presence in different countries in my life is more satisfying to me than making some buckets. Though yes I felt that I owed it to the kids to look up to me and I also wanted to spend time with my daughter, I want to be present in her life also. She is on the trip with me, and just for her to have a father figure in her life and experience other sides of the world to bring her along on a journey.”
Kevin could be seen enjoying his retirement, though basketball is still being a big part of his life. “Life has changed for me as after the NBA where players spend about 200 days on the road and offseason away from family, I am making up for lost time of about 20 years with my family. This is one of the best and positive sides of being retired from the game,” he said.
Meanwhile, giving tips to aspiring cagers in New Delhi, Kevin said, “A player needs to listen to his/her coach. Secondly, one should educate himself or herself about the game before considering playing. Third, after those steps, a player has to learn the fundamentals of the game of basketball and finally the best quality a basketball player has to have is to be coachable and always be a student of the game because learning never stops and you can always get better at what you do best.”