After 15 years in the NBA, last week former Denver Nuggets power forward Kenyon decided to retire. Martin spent the majority of his career with the Nets and the Nuggets and was a cornerstone player during his seven seasons in powder blue.

The All-Star forward recently sat down for an exclusive interview with former Nuggets beat writer and current Yahoo! Sports basketball reporter Marc J. Spears to discuss his decision.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks

In the interview Martin explained why he knew it was time to step away from the game he loves.

It’s been a great 15 years…Thanks to all the fans that supported me over the years. But a time does come when you have to walk away, and the time is now for me. I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I would like to thank the Nets, Nuggets, Clippers, Knicks and Bucks for the opportunity to play the game that I love. It’s been real. Thanks for the love.

Martin also made it clear that he would like the opportunity to coach a franchise if the chance arose down the road, but for the time being he plans on focusing on his family and multiple businesses.

Martin was the number one draft pick of the 2000 NBA draft. During the span of his career, he played for five teams: the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks. During the second and third years of his professional career, Martin was a part of the Nets roster who made consecutive NBA Finals. In his first trip to the Finals the Nets lost to a dominant Los Angeles Lakers while his second trip to the Finals was a defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

The forward came to Denver from the New Jersey Nets the next year in a sign-and-trade deal that gave three first-round picks to New Jersey.

Although getting Martin seemed like a great idea for the Nuggets, the Nets had a hard time parting ways with bruiser. Former Nets CEO Rod Thorn spoke at the time to about how tough of a decision it was to part ways with Martin.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for our franchise, but I felt that the magnitude of the contract, both in its first year due to the signing bonus as well as over its duration, would seriously impair our ability to sign enough quality players,” Thorn said. “This core group of players has had an amazing run over the past few years, and we will work diligently toward once again competing for an NBA title.”

Martin was brought into Denver to help aid in the Nuggets pursuit of an NBA Championship and to help mentor a young Carmelo Anthony. During his time as a Nugget, Martin averaged 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Despite being known around the league as being hot-headed, Martin surprisingly was not involved in one of the more intense brawls in NBA history, the Knicks-Nuggets melee at Madison Square Garden in 2006.

When Martin was healthy, he was everything the Nuggets hoped for and more. He hustled on defense, was efficient on offense and made the extra plays needed for victories. But his attitude sometimes cast a cloud over his otherwise superb play.

During a game in 2006 against the Chicago Bulls, Martin and his entourage got into a verbal altercation with a few Bulls fans. The result was a $15,000 fine and he was banned from bringing his friends to NBA games indefinitely.

But perhaps the most famous incident of Martin’s behavior was the “popcorn,” incident. Martin was on the wrong end of a horrible April Fool’s joke.  Former Nuggets ball boy Laquan Johnson snuck into the locker room during the Nuggets game against the Portland Trailblazers, took his keys to his all-white interior Range Rover and filled the entire inside with buttered popcorn.

Martin, of course, was furious. “That ain’t no [expletive] joke,” Martin said at the time. “I’m going to find out who did it … put my [expletive] hands on one of y’all. I’m going to put my hands on whoever did it. You better believe that. It’s [expletive] personal. You better believe it.”

The power forward even went as far as to boycott the postseason if he did not find out who was responsible for doing such an outlandish act.

“How ’bout if I don’t play in the playoffs until somebody tells me who did it,” Martin said more than once.

Martin and then-Nuggets head coach George Karl often butted heads about his playing time, as well. During the first round of the 2006 NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers, Martin was suspended two games for “conduct detrimental to the team,” after he refused to play in the second half of game two of the series. Eventually Martin and Karl patched up their differences during the offseason.

Martin last played 13 games with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2014-15 season before being waived.  The forward has only played in 61 games in the past three seasons.

Despite his disappointing final years in the league, Kenyon Martin will forever be linked to one of the Nuggets’ most successful runs in franchise history. From 2008 – 2011 he was a mainstay on the roster, helping lead the team to seven consecutive playoff appearances and their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 1985.

Martin represents a tougher, grittier time in the NBA – he’s the kind of player we may never see again.

Marcus Flowers, a Mile High Sports intern, contributed to this report