#WizardsRank: Cartier Martin, No. 17: Giving Meaning to Second Chances
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
Participants were given the full list of 56 in alphabetical order, and included for each player were total games, minutes, PER (player efficiency rating), and WS/48 (win-shares per 48 minutes) only from the last five seasons. Participants were asked to rate each player on the scale of 1-to-10 according to this criteria: on court performance; off court performance; intangibles; and own personal memory. Yes, this is totally subjective, but relatively collective.
NOTE: #WizardsRank Nos. 56 to 18 have been posted and links can be found below. Now, we’ll start releasing player rankings one or so at a time. -Kyle W.
5.00 out of 10
(77 games, 1,047 minutes, 12.3 PER, .077 WS/48)
Everyone gets a second chance these days… and a third, and a fourth. Some collect second chances with carte blanche attitudes (or carte Blatche, a la carte … zinger).
Cartier Martin gives genuine meaning to second chances. Second chances that aren’t so much about bouncing back from screwing up, but are rather just about bouncing back. And Martin’s #WizardsRank at No. 17 communicates that these rankings, based how players order after being rated by several parties on a scale of 1-to-10, are as much about looking forward as they are looking backward.
After four seasons at Kansas State, Martin left seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list, but went undrafted by the NBA. He spent a year playing in Turkey, was drafted — by the D-League — in 2008, and was called up by the Charlotte Bobcats in January 2009. In his first 33 NBA games, he averaged 8.1 points, .364 from the field, and .303 from the 3-point line. That summer Martin signed to play in Italy but found his way back to the D-League for more teeth-cutting with the Iowa Energy by December 2009.
The Golden State Warriors phoned in January 2010, but Martin was heading back to Iowa after consecutive 10-day contracts — in 10 games with the Warriors he upped his 3-point shooting percentage to .323, but his overall field goal percentage remained at .364. Those numbers were going to cut it.
Then came the hapless Wizards. On the tail end of the season inversely constructed by the Gilbert Arenas, Ernie Grunfeld and company, the Wizards brought Martin in on a 10-day contract to fill roster holes at the very end of March 2010. He appeared in eight games and upped his shooting percentages to .375 from the field and .398 from beyond the arc. Being one of the few Wiz who could shoot from long range got Martin an invite to the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League by the team. There he cemented himself as a budding renaissance man — high energy, communication, and selflessness. Hell, the guy was calling out opponent plays… in summer league (who cares if it was against one of his former teams, the Warriors). Most importantly, Martin was honest and earnest, unafraid to pinpoint previous flaws in his game and lessons learned. He was refreshing. He remained unsatisfied.
Normally, it seems, the Wizards don’t keep the type around. Guys like Cartier Martin are nice to have a cup of tea with, but an entire meal? ‘Eh, we’ll find someone else.’ But his play both at the end of 2009-10 and in the following summer earned Martin a training camp invite and a thirst for a roster spot. Not only did he make 2010-11 Wizards, but he actually became one of the team’s better subs off the bench. He played in 52 games, started one, shot .390 from the field, .394 from 3-point land, and posted a PER of 11.8, a tenth of a point below that of the higher-paid Al Thornton, but one that was much more valuable in the flow of team intelligence.
In late-October he impressed with an unimaginable block of Dwight Howard, later getting this recognition from TNT’s Steve Kerr: “I like what I’ve seen out of Martin, though. He’s basically just kept the game simple. When he’s open, he’s shot, when not, he’s just moved the ball on.”
You might not think that the man named after a movie starring David Hasslehoff and Joan Collins — The Cartier Affair — the man who named his son Cartier Jr., would keep things simple on the basketball court. But that’s Cartier. Unassuming, playing the role, a threat when needed.
To consider, a 2010 review of the 1984 made-for-television movie from Fustar.info:
The Cartier Affair sees bumbling ex-con David Hasselhoff pretend to be a gay secretary so he can steal Joan Collins’ jewels and repay his debts to gangster Telly Savalas. Astonishingly, none of that is dream-stuff.
Joan, as she has done for practically her whole career, plays herself (or at least the “herself” she has spent her professional life creating). Her improbable name (mixing hints of jewels with bigger hints of sexual predatoriness) is Cartier Rand: disenchanted glamour-puss star of a shit daytime soap. She wants out. She wants to do stage work, to push herself as an actress. To escape the icon of seduction and excess she has become.
And that’s where Cartier got his name? OK then.
By early-November Martin was one of the reasons the Wizards got their first win of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers. But by April 2011, after missing some games with knee tendinitis and experiencing a stress fracture in his left foot, he was waived. The Wizards used the roster spot to take further looks at Larry Owens and Othyus Jeffers but paid for the surgery Martin needed on his foot nonetheless.
Like many players, the NBA lockout summer of 2011 forced Martin to make a tough decision. Personal circumstance made it even tougher. He and over a dozen college basketball coaches, among others, got caught up in a Ponzi scheme run by Houston, Texas-area businessman and AAU operator David Salinas. Costing investors millions, Salinas killed himself in July 2011 and left Martin, his wife, and his son, barely a year old, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Martin had to leave a lot stateside, obviously, but signing a contract to play in China for $250,000 probably was the simple choice, even if it meant that Martin could not return to the NBA until the four-month CBA season was over. Still, he did alright for himself. Martin’s 26.3 points per game stood at 10th best in the CBA; his shooting percentages: .496 from the field, .370 from deep.
Upon returning to the U.S. last February, the Wizards gave Martin seven D-League games, with the Iowa Energy again, before calling him back for duty. TAI hypothesized that he immediately became the team’s best 3-point shooter. And Cartier was, his .387 from beyond the arc over 17 games a shade over Roger Mason’s .383. Kevin Durant shot .387 from three last season, too. (So did Randy Foye.)
In consideration of player development, Martin has been in the Wizards’ “system” since March 2010, Randy Wittman being an assistant then and head coach now. He will be 28 in November. He can still play. And he fills a need: shooting.
The decision to re-sign Martin in July was not just simple, it was perfect. This isn’t a second chance. This is growth.
Kyle Weidie ][ @Truth_About_It
No. 56: Cedric Jackson; No. 55: Mike Bibby; No. 54: Paul Davis; No. 53: Edwin Ubiles; No. 52: Quinton Ross.
No. 51: Mike Wilks; No. 50: Mike Harris; No. 49: Javaris Crittenton; No. 48: Dee Brown; No. 47: Morris Almond.
No. 46: Larry Owens; No. 45: Mustafa Shakur; No. 44: Brian Cook; No. 43: Hamady N’diaye; No. 42: Rashard Lewis.
No. 41: Hilton Armstrong; No. 40: Oleksiy Pecherov; No. 39: Mike James; No. 38: Fabricio Oberto; No. 37: Ronny Turiaf.
No. 36: Lester Hudson; No. 35: Yi Jianlian; No. 34: Juan Dixon; No. 33: Josh Howard; No. 32: Chris Singleton.
No. 31: Al Thornton; No. 30: Shelvin Mack; No. 29: Mo Evans; No. 28: Mike Miller; No. 27: Alonzo Gee.
No. 26: Randy Foye; No. 25: Dominic McGuire; No. 24: Andray Blatche; No. 23: Earl Boykins; No. 22: Roger Mason.