Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

In the Instagram comments section, longtime NBA superstar Kevin Durant showed some love to Houston Rockets rookie KJ Martin.

Just 20 years old and only a year removed from high school, Martin entered the 2020-21 season not expecting to receive much NBA playing time. But the Rockets went into a youth movement after the forced trade of James Harden (ironically, to join Durant in Brooklyn), and the 6-foot-6 forward took advantage of the unexpected opportunity.

“Hell of a season,” Durant wrote to Martin on Instagram.

Martin averaged 9.3 points (50.9% FG, 36.5% on 3-pointers) and 5.4 rebounds in 23.7 minutes per game, and he compiled a highlight reel of blocks against some of the NBA’s tallest players. Best of all, his shooting and defense improved as the season moved along, which suggests that Martin could be even better during his second season in 2021-22.

Martin is the son of former player Kenyon Martin, who was picked No. 1 overall in the 2000 draft and played 15 professional seasons. That relationship helped Martin make connections around the NBA at a young age. Nonetheless, it’s his on-court play that is now doing the talking.


KJ Martin, Kevin Porter Jr. reflect on first season with Rockets

‘There’s no easy buckets’: Rockets rookie KJ Martin keeps blocking NBA’s tallest players