Sports

We might be through with the past...

So, we're talking about Cartier Martin.

I don't want this to be the topic of conversation, but it is.

So why are we, here at The Eagle's Run 'N Gun international headquarters, discussing the ultra-soft, underachieving former Kansas State Wildcat?

Because he's in the NBA now. Through some miracle, he's with the Washington Wizards after having been called up for the second time this season from the D-League to the NBA (the official name of this act is the GATORADE Call-Up, but that's an entirely different column) after spending time earlier this season with the Golden State Warriors.

Last year, he played 33 games with the Charlotte Bobcats.

And for some reason, it bothers me that today's K-State fan associates NBA success with Michael Beasley, Bill Walker and Martin. It just doesn't sit well. I watched Martin underperform enough that he wore on me and I was happy when his time with K-State was done. The other two guys were nothing short of mercenaries.

So, History 101, here's a reminder of why the Wildcats used to cut a wide swath in NBA circles. Go ahead and impress your friends with your newfound basketball knowledge and thank me later:

Bob Boozer (Years at K-State: 1956-1959) —The top pick in the 1959 NBA Draft, dude played for six teams over 11 years and held off on his pro career for a season so he could win a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics with future NBA teammates Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas.

Boozer had his best years with the Bulls, being named an all-star in 1968, and closed out his career with a title in Milwaukee in 1971.

And he's got a street named after him in his hometown — Bob Boozer Drive in Omaha. That's pretty cool.

Rolando Blackman (1977-1981) —Rooooooooooo ... probably my favorite K-State player. A four-time all-star, he was absolute butter in the league, averaging 18 points over 13 seasons with the Mavericks and the Knicks. What's more impressive? That average is with two seasons at the end of his career where he averaged under 10.

And just think, Knicks fan, had Pat Riley just played Blackman over John Starks in the 1994 NBA Finals... Clutch City, baby!

Mitch Richmond (1986-1988) —Would likely be regarded as the greatest Wildcat of all time if it weren't for two years spent at a junior college before making his way to Manhattan.

Dude played 14 years in the NBA, averaging 21 points for his career ... and, like Boozer, picked up his only title in his last year in the league, riding pine for the Lakers in 2002.

And lest we forget... Run TMC? Anybody?

The most important thing I learned covering the NCAA Tournament — The most important thing I learned covering the NCAA Tournament is that when you reach a certain level of notoriety, it necessitates having two cell phones.

Here's how several K-State players broke it down for me: You keep one phone for your friends, family, girlfriend and coaches. Simple enough.

You keep another line for everybody else — some of them called this line the "Bat Phone" — which I kind of dig.

"This phone is for the people I talk to all the time," Jamar Samuels said, holding up his main line, "and this other (phone) is for all the people I really don't want to talk to."

"Like reporters?" I asked him.

"Not really," he said.

Standing in front of Samuels' locker, I asked him about a third phone, sitting on the bench next to him.

"That's not a phone," Samuels said, laughing. "That's my iPod."

Oops.

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