Delivering in the Pros
It began in Sacramento...
Martin, whose ability to get to the free throw line is among the best in the league, set a new Sacramento-era single-season record for free throws made (481). In the Most Improved voting that was the closest race since the award began in 1986, Martin had 349 votes while Golden State guard Monta Ellis won with 352 votes. With the Kings in a time of transition and Martin clearly getting better every year, he had emerged as a vital piece of the organization's future. The Kings ensured Martin wouldn't be going anywhere soon on Aug. 28, 2007, when he signed a five-year extension that wouldn't expire until 2013.
His scoring increased to a career-high and team-leading 24.6 ppg. ranked 7th in the NBA. Martin continued to establish himself as one of the NBA's premier free throw marksman, becoming only the fourth player in Kings franchise history to tally 400 or more free throws made in three consecutive seasons (2006-07 – 2008-09), joining team greats Mitch Richmond, Jack Twyman, and Oscar Robertson with that distinction.
After a summer of strong work-outs, Kevin had high hopes for the 2009-2010 season. With another new coach, Paul Westphal, things started strong. In the home opener, Martin posted 48 points in a winning effort against the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately, he also suffered a fractured wrist in that game. Martin had surgery to put pins in his wrist, and was sidelined for 2 ½ months. Upon his return, the Kings had changed their style of play. On February 17th, Martin was traded to the Houston Rockets in a block buster 3 team, 10 player trade.
Off to Houston
Martin was ecstatic when Daryl Morey and the Rockets felt that he was their next shooting guard to fill the void they had. Knowing he was going back to Rick Adelman, Elston Turner, and T.R. Dunn, the coaches that taught him so many things when he first entered the league, Martin couldn't wait to get down to Houston!
Having previously played for Adelman, Martin fit right into the Rockets style of play, and was able to hit the ground running. He came off the bench for his first two games, then started the remaining 22. He finished the season shooting an impressive 21.3 ppg, on .435 fg%, while making 92% of his free throws. Martin obviously found his comfort zone with the Houston Rockets and former coach.
The 2010-2011 season, Kevin’s first full season in Houston under Coach Adelman, he again excelled. Kevin averaged a team high 23.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 80 games.
He became the first player in Rockets history to reach 1,800 points, make 500 or more free throws and hit at least 100 3-pointers in a single season.
Kevin reached the 40-point mark twice during this season and finished with a single-season, career-high 20 30-plus point outings, on the way to a single season, career-best 57 20-point performances.
He earned Western Conference Player of the Week accolades for his play during the week of 2/22/11-2/27/11.