Kenyon Martin thought his work with the Clippers last season would have earned him a spot there this year. Despite his yeoman work in the playoffs, the Clippers declined to sign Martin, and he was a free agent until the Knicks signed him last month.

So as Martin comes back to Staples Center to face the Clippers today, likely starting at power forward, he’ll feel a little extra energy. Martin still has a place in Los Angeles.

“It’s personal,’’ Martin said. “It’s basketball. I helped them succeed last year. I thought I had a chance coming back. It didn’t work out. It’s in the past.’’

The signing has been a godsend as Rasheed Wallace and Amar’e Stoudemire had foot and knee surgeries, respectively, after Martin joined the Knicks.

Asked why the Clippers (not to mention 28 other teams) didn’t sign him, Martin, 35, said: “You have to ask them. I helped them get out of the first round [against Memphis]. Without me they wouldn’t have gotten out of the first round. Without me and Reggie [Evans], they wouldn’t have gotten out of the first round, bottom line. I hold no grudges. I’m coming here to win a game and right the ship.’’