All Nate Robinson has done in his NBA career is lose. The BEST season of his career came in his second season, when his Knicks went 33-49 under the immortal Isiah Thomas. In four full seasons with the Knicks, he only won an average of just about 28 wins per season.
But Nate says you shouldn’t call him a loser. (Boston Globe)
“I’ve been a winner all my life and four years of losing takes a toll on you,’’ he said. “You’ve got to find a way to strengthen your mind when you go through something like that. You have to wait and be patient. I have been patient, and let’s see what this brings us.’’
Robinson understands how lucky he is to be playing for Boston, especially after his four+ years of NBA purgatory in New York. (Boston Herald)
“It’s a blessing, there’s no way around it,” Robinson said. “They know how to win, they know what it takes to be champions and I’m trying to learn that.”
As an opponent, Robinson admired the way the C’s play.
“I love the way everything is team,” he said. “They kind of play like a college team. It’s all about the team and winning and the championship. You can see it in their eyes, you can see how hungry they are. I’ve been hungry like that since I was born.”
I like that line. “Hungry like that since I was born.” Definitely going to be my newest phrase. “Jay, why’d you do such a good job on your homework?” “Oh, you know me professor. I’ve been hungry like that since I was born.”
Nate then went on to say that being in a better basketball environment will help to bring out the best in him. (Boston Globe, same link as above)
“Doc believes in me and each guy on the team, KG [Kevin Garnett], Paul [Pierce], Ray, all the way down to Rondo, they believe that me and Marcus can help them win another ring,’’ Robinson said.
“As a basketball player, you raise your game to the level of competition, and right now I am at the highest. This is going to bring out the best in me, playing in Boston and going against the guys who are going to try to knock us down.’’
One thing Nate will have to raise is his defense. At times in New York, it was lackadaisical. Robinson wasn’t always known for exerting his best effort on the difficult side of the court. But he says it’s actually his favorite part of basketball. (Boston Herald)
“That’s the first thing I love most about basketball is playing defense,” Robinson said. “Defense leads to offense. People don’t realize that. If you play great defense, you’re going to have a great offensive day. You’re going to score points, you get stops, fast breaks, everything — those lead to the big plays.”
You might think to yourself, “Yeah, right Nate. Your favorite part of basketball is defense. Next thing I know you’re going to try to tell me you’re 6’5″.”
But Kevin Garnett also spoke of Nate’s defense as one of his positives. (Boston Herald)
“We know he can score a lot of points,” Kevin Garnett said of his new teammate. “We know he brings a lot of energy to the building. He plays with his heart. I love that about him. The Knicks are not known for their defense these days, but if you’re a player, a coach or an assistant coach in this league, you know that he’s active out there. He gets steals. He gets his hands in the passing lanes. And other than Rondo we haven’t had a guy like that. So we’re looking forward to it.”
Garnett isn’t the only Celtic who realizes the effect Nate can have on a team. Nate says Doc Rivers has always been a fan of his game, even when Doc wasn’t coaching Nate. (Boston Herald)
“(Rivers) always told me I was going to be a hell of a player one day, even in my rookie year,” Robinson said. “Now after winning coach of the year and winning the championship, him wanting me here is definitely icing on the cake. I gotta pay homage by playing my ass off for him.”
With a coach that admires him and a team that will win, Boston is the perfect spot for Nate. Not only does he get to be back in a winning atmosphere, but the trade also just about guaranteed him an extra $1 million, a bonus he’ll get for making the playoffs. Only in New York do they add playoff incentives, probably because they knew as long as he was still under contract as a Knick, he’d never reach that goal.
But the extra $1 million isn’t the only thing Robinson wants from his tenure in Boston. He also wants to make history. (Boston Herald)
“It’s just a sigh of relief to be on a team that just wants to win, win, win,” Robinson said. “That’s all they know and that’s all it’s about. I love that. I want to be a part of a great team, a great organization that has a lot of great history and hopefully I’ll get to set some myself.”
A few days ago, Doc Rivers said his first conversation with Nate was mostly Nate sucking up. Now, I know what Doc meant.
Nate says all the right things. “I want to play defense… I want to win… I want to make history… I was born hungry.”
Now if he can just walk the walk, the Nate Robinson Era will be off to a very nice start.