Kenyon Martin questions Team USA adding Bobby Portis: ‘There’s other players that can suit USA Basketball a little better’

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Kenyon Martin Stook the news of Bobby Portis joining Team USA at the upcoming FIBA World Cup and used it as an opportunity to question the selection. In addition, he pitched the idea of his son Kenyon Jr. being on the team.

“Bobby Portis is a solid NBA player,” the elder Martin said. “But I just look at the past, man, and being the decisions USA Basketball made before. Taking nothing off of Bobby Portis’ plate, but I just don’t — I think there’s other players that can suit USA Basketball a little better.


“They gonna throw Bobby out there, listen, if they gonna throw Bobby Portis in that show, I wanna see K.J. on there.”

Portis, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, is one of six players who has committed to play for Team USA. The list includes Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers, Austin Reaves of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets and Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks.

Portis, 28, is the oldest of the six and perhaps the most unlikely choice. Still, he averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for the Bucks this season and was third in voting for Sixth Man of the Year behind winner Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics and Immanuel Quickley of the Knicks.

Portis reportedly has an interest in joining the Lakers to be reunited with head coach Darvin Ham, who was formerly an assistant coach for the Bucks. Portis could get some information on the Lakers from Reaves, who also has an interesting offseason coming up as a restricted free agent.

The guard raised his stock significantly with an improved second season in the NBA and could make even more of a name for himself if he happens to excel on the international stage.

The younger Martin, a 22-year-old forward for the Houston Rockets, averaged 12.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season, his third in the NBA.

The FIBA World Cup will begin in late August. The American team will be coached by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose NBA squad was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs this year.

Training camp for Team USA is scheduled to begin in early August in Las Vegas, and an exhibition schedule will precede the tournament.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.