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Karl ready to mend fences with Martin

5/24/2006 - NBA Kenyon Martin Denver Nuggets + more

DENVER -- Nuggets coach George Karl said he believes the
situation with forward Kenyon Martin can be resolved, though the
two haven't spoken since Martin was suspended during Denver's
first-round playoff series loss to the Clippers.

Karl said he will begin meeting with players around June 15,
ahead of the June 28 draft.

"I don't know if Kenyon will be among the first three or four
players I talk with," Karl said Tuesday. "I don't think there's
any forced time frame. I would say between now and the draft would
be my time frame to get all the players through a lunch or a
couple-hour meeting before the NBA draft and talk about the
season."

Martin was suspended for yelling at the coach and his teammates
during Game 2 of the playoff series against Los Angeles. His name
has been mentioned in several trade rumors, but Karl said he is not
ready to scuttle Martin.

"He's a man that can win basketball games. He's proven that
this year. He's proven that throughout his career," Karl said.
"We need to get back together so everybody's committed to doing
that and not worrying about each other's individuality."

Still, the coach concedes it could be a tense meeting.

"I'm going into the meeting honest," Karl said. "There's some
anger there I'm going to be honest with. It's not going to be
anything different than clearing the air."

Recovering from surgery on his left knee, Martin played in pain
throughout the season and averaged 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds a
game in 56 games. He was a reserve in the first two games of the
playoffs, which led to growing frustration.

Karl also said he plans to take a more active role in
determining the direction of the Nuggets, which decided not to
renew the contract of general manager Kiki Vandeweghe after the
season.

"Last year at the end of the season we said, 'You've [players]
earned the right to stay together,"' Karl said. "At the end of
this season we said the organization has the right to make some
changes. Basically I took what was there when I got here and rode
with it.

"Now it's my time to say what I want."

One of the changes may include making leading scorer Carmelo Anthony the team captain. Karl said he may eliminate the tri-captain system that has been in place for two seasons and appoint Anthony as the sole captain in 2006-07.

"That's where we want to see him," Karl said.