Prior to the 2012-2013 NBA Season beginning Chris “Birdman” Andersen and Kenyon Martin were in the unemployed line. Martin went to play in the CBA in China, and Birdman was in his hometown of Iola, Texas recovering from minor knee surgery.
Ironically these two high motor players that were once teammates in Denver faced a similar journey this season that may be rewarding at the end of the day. Since signing with the New York Knicks Martin has provided toughness, energy, and rebounding that they were lacking before his arrival. With the Birdman he fell into the perfect situation playing for the championship Miami Heat that desperately needed his high motor, shot blocking skills, and defense.
Now that both teams are in the Eastern Conference Playoffs fighting to win the crown Martin and Andersen will play key roles on their respective teams. We all know what superstars such as Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James bring to the table, but the importance of quality role players cannot be over looked. Looking back at the just about every championship team there was a group of role player that played a key role in their team’s success.
In league that is turning into a diva style of league it is good to see two blue-collar guys in Martin and Birdman receiving the chance play after being out of basketball. It will be interesting to see the impact that both players have on their teams for the remainder of the playoffs.