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“Getting him to practice was like pulling teeth” — Byron Scott reveals the worst player he had to coach

Seems like Allen Iverson isn't the only player who wasn't enthusiastic about practice.
Byron Scott

Byron Scott

Byron Scott has a wealth of experience as an NBA coach. He handled several stars during his career, but out of all the players Scott had to deal with, one stands out as the most difficult guy to handle - Kenyon Martin.

Getting him to practice was like pulling teeth

Scott coached the New Jersey Nets from 2000 to 2004, so he handled Kenyon Martin’s entire career as a Net. As with young and confident rookies, KMart thought he was cool; he didn’t care about practices and getting in shape.

Kenyon might have been the hardest to coach. Because Kenyon had a way of doing things. But once he gets involved in practices, then he’d give you everything. There were days that Kenyon would come and says, ‘Coach, I’m TI-red.’ I was like, ‘You, what?’ Tired.

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Scott then hired a conditioning coach to handle Martin’s alibis. But in the end, the former Nets coach would praise his forward for giving it all on the court.

He might have been one of the most difficult guys to coach because it was hard getting him to practice.” Scott shared with Cooper. “I had him in his first three, four years so he was still young. We didn’t butt heads but I tell you what you said, Kenyon Martin when that ball was thrown up, Kenyon Martin would give you 110% and I love that about him. I love his toughness, I love his grit, and a hell of a defender. He can guard multiple positions as well. That kid had no fear and one of the smartest players I had. But just getting him to practice was like pulling teeth,” Scott lamented.

Kenyon Martin’s impact

Martin failed to win a title, but his career was impressive nonetheless. As mentioned, he brought the heat to the court and wasn’t afraid of anyone. Kenyon averaged 12.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in his career. The power forward’s best season came in the 2003-04 season, where he tied his career-high in points and got an All-Star nod. Unfortunately, it would be the only All-Star Game he would participate in. Fans would best remember him flying high, catching lobs from Jason Kidd.

A myriad of injuries and an inability to expand his game beyond the 3-point line shortened his career. But while KMart didn’t win a title or had a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career, the excitement and passion he gave on the floor every night became the trademark memories for his fans. 

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