Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Sign Kenyon Martin

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Sign Kenyon Martin

Article excerpt

TORONTO -- The bloodletting for the Knicks came Wednesday in Indiana, when they were humiliated by the Pacers. Thursday, with the trade deadline arriving, it was only minor surgery performed on the roster.

The Knicks dealt Ronnie Brewer, who had gone from an early season starter to an invisible man, to Oklahoma City for a 2014 second- round draft pick, cash considerations and a small trade exception. And then they filled the roster spot by signing former Net Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract.

Most importantly, the Knicks insisted that even with a 14-14 stumble after an 18-5 start, they remain convinced that the pieces are in place to contend for a title with an aging roster.

So there were no thoughts of an overhaul, with general manager Glen Grunwald keeping the roster essentially intact and coach Mike Woodson hinting that the lineup isn't undergoing drastic changes.

"We're optimistic," Grunwald said, speaking publicly for the first time since the start of training camp. "Obviously we have to play better. We've had some difficult games, and teams will go through that. I'm ... optimistic that Woody, the coaching staff and the players will find a way to get back to their winning ways."

Grunwald echoed Woodson's contention that the pieces are in place for a championship.

"That's our goal," Grunwald said. "That's what this organization is trying to do, to move towards an NBA championship. So I'm hopeful that we're going to make progress on that goal.

"I think that we do have the parts to do so if we remain healthy and play up to our potential."

But health and potential remain the stumbling blocks right now for the Knicks, and provide more questions than answers. The 125-91 loss at Indiana was the latest evidence that things are not right, combined with three losses in the four games prior to the All-Star break.

The brief respite did nothing to make the Knicks' aging and aching legs look any more lively. Instead the Knicks came out with an admitted lack of effort Wednesday -- an inexcusable offense for a team with supposed championship aspirations.

"When you go through the league everybody's been smacked once or twice this year like that," Woodson said. …

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