DENVER It is hard to know just what was going through Kenyon Martin's head as the basketball, with just under 30 seconds to play and the score tied, bounced high off the rim under the Denver Nuggets basket.
Did he think about how he hadn't had a rebound all night? Did he remind himself that the Nuggets, after seven years of meritorious service, hadn't been at all interested in retaining him last season?
Or was he simply playing basketball?
No matter what it was that stirred inside Martin, there is little doubt that pride was at its heart, just as it has been throughout a lengthy career that looked as if it might end before it started when he twice suffered a broken leg.
Martin muscled Kenneth Faried, the energetic rookie, out of the way and leaped over him to tip in the go-ahead basket with 27.1 seconds to play. Then, at the opposite end, Martin arrived at the basket in time to swat away Ty Lawson's layup with 19.9 seconds left, plays the Clippers parlayed into a 104-98 victory...