Kenyon Martin checks in with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson & Scoop B Radio. Press Play Below To Listen!
Kenyon Martin and Alonzo Mourning were tough competitors on the basketball court in the 90s and early 2000s.
Could you imagine if the two got into a fist fight?
Well, it almost happened while teammates during a Nets pre-game shoot around in 2004.
As the legend of the story goes, Martin was mocking Mourning’s recent performance on the court.
Mourning in turn, questioned Martin’s leadership and said: “You can’t be a leader in the trainer’s room crying, ‘My ankle, my ankle,’” referring to the sprained ankle that sidelined Martin for five games.
Martin quickly responded to Mourning and muttered: “My kidney, my kidney.”
That started World War III!
Kenyon Martin recounts confrontation with Alonzo Mourning with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast
For those tardy to the party, back in 2004, Mourning was made an NBA return with the Nets after being diagnosed with a kidney disease and abruptly retiring the season before.
“Zo got mad at me and was like: ‘why don’t you go and get your ass off the training table,” Kenyon Martin recounted on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I was like: ‘who the hell are you talking about bro? You better be worrying about your own mother fucking kids and stop worrying about me!’”
At that point, the war of words continued to escalate between the two and former Net, forward, Aaron Williams, had to step in to separate the two.
“I think Alonzo looked at me like I should have been working as hard as he was in shootarounds and stuff,” laughs Martin.
“I was never a shoot around guy, I was never like that. I have never understood the purpose of shoot arounds.”
The remarkable part of the whole ordeal was that the banter between the two caused no physical altercation. “We didn’t even fight,” said Martin.
“No punches thrown.”
Still the competitor that he was a decade ago, an older Martin who was in his fourth season in the NBA when the altercation went down, sees the bigger picture: “Boy, I have seen your fight with Larry Johnson and I’ll wear you out in here,” he joked.
“What I realized was what I said was hurtful. So I apologized to him. That never got noted, that I apologized to the man.”
The Nets would eventually trade Kenyon Martin and Mourning remained on that team.
Ironically, Mourning openly criticized the Nets for trading K-Mart in a six-year, $82.3 million contract sign and trade deal with the Denver Nuggets in exchange for three future first round draft picks. Mourning was later shipped to the Toronto Raptors in the blockbuster trade that brought Vince Carter to the Nets.