Kevin Martin Retires From NBA After 12 Years: Announces Decision, $100K Donation In Hometown Newspaper Ad

NBA player Kevin Martin announced his retirement through a statement published as a newspaper advertisement.

The Zanesville High School graduate chose his hometown newspaper, the Zanesville Time Recorder, as the stage for sharing his decision with the rest of the world. After spending 12 years in the NBA, the 33-year-old apparently had a lot of people to thank and the allotted space to do so.

After opening his statement by giving thanks, Martin stated that there is “not a more perfect day” to express those feelings than on Thanksgiving Day. What will Kevin Martin do in the next chapter of his life as a retired professional basketball player? According to his statement, those closest to him have known about his decision for quite some time.

“My family and close friends have known since June of the direction I wanted my life to go. Those were the toughest conversations that I have ever had but with the ultimate support I knew I was making the right decision.”

Martin then used his statement to honor his family members – including his parents, brother, grandparents, in-laws and his wife Jill Arnold. He gave a special shout-out to his hometown of Zanesville, Ohio – the place he claims was the starting point of his journey at the age of 18 – for teaching him firsthand the power of a supportive community.

“Every little kid that loves basketball dreams about playing in the same league as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but I know it’s the hope that others give that can only make that dream a reality. That’s where I realize I’m from a one of a kind community. I never took anything for granted, always inspiring to make a difference off the court and play at a high level because I always represented Zanesville everywhere I went in this world.”

Kevin Martin also paid a special tribute to the people who played key roles in his journey even though they were not necessarily related to him. For instance, he honored his high school basketball coach Scott Aronhalt for playing him on the Junior Varsity team during the summer of his junior year.

He thanked Dr. Bill Stewart for helping him to pass his ACT – a test he claims he had to take three times to become eligible to play college basketball. His NBA trainer, David Thorpe, and first NBA head coach, Rick Adleman, were also included on the list of honorees for essentially teaching him humility as he made the transition from collegiate to professional basketball.

“The meaning was you better be ready to work as hard as anybody out here because nothing will ever be handed to you… David Thorpe had professional players knocking me to the floor every chance they got as a skinny, 19-year-old freshman… Coach Rick Adelman didn’t play me my rookie year. Still to this day, these are my favorite and most grateful people I have encountered during this journey.”

To show his appreciation even more, Kevin Martin concluded his statement with a nice-sized present. He announced that the Kevin Martin Youth Foundation will donate $100,000 “to enhance the talents of our young children, on and off the sporting fields.”

Before Kevin Martin played in his first professional basketball game, he earned a full scholarship to attend Western Carolina University. In addition to being a star player on the court for his college, Martin also majored in sports management.

Kevin Martin started his journey as an NBA player during the 2004 NBA Draft when the Sacramento Kings selected him with the 26th overall pick. He remained on the Kings’ roster until he was traded to the Houston Rockets in February 2010. Martin’s shift to Houston was part of a 3-way trade between the Kings and the New York Knicks.

Through what would become the last four seasons of his NBA career, Kevin Martin played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Minnesota Timberwolves as well as the San Antonio Spurs for the final chapter of the 2015-16 season.

Over the years, Kevin Martin played in over 700 NBA games. According to Basketball Reference, Martin averaged 17.4 points per game and maintained a 43.7 field goal percentage along with an 87 percent free throw average.

[Featured Image by David Zalubowski/AP Images]