While playing for the New York Knicks, Nate Robinson was a fan favorite. Scratch that. He was THE fan favorite. Not just in a Brian Scalabrine, we-feel-sympathy-for-this-guy type of way, either. Robinson was revered for his electric play and excitable manner. In years of dark Knickerbocker despair, Robinson and his never-ending energy were a 5’7″ ball of light.
But Knicks fans sure do have a very short-term memory. They hardly gave Robinson any ovation at all. Their was a small smattering of applause, but that’s it. No standing ovation, no rousing cheers, nothing but a round of applause approximately equal to the one you’d hear after a made free throw.
Here’s how the New York Post’s Marc Berman described it:
Robinson’s return was a Debbie Downer. When the 5-7 1/2 sparkplug checked into the game, he got a polite ovation, nothing more than Jamal Crawford his first time back. It was surprising but telling.
Robinson was their favorite player but in truth, this fan base hasn’t been too attached to anyone across the last nine seasons. Robinson was a diversion while he was here, nothing more. I’m not going to kill Knick fans for not showing more warmth. It was an eye-opener about how superficial their feelings were about even their favorites the past few seasons. I’m sure Robinson expected more.
Berman won’t kill Knick fans, so I will.
Where is the loyalty? Where is the devotion? You call yourselves “the Mecca of Basketball,” but you treat your own favorites like toss-aways. I don’t care that Nate Robinson was a part of some of the worst Knick teams ever; he was the one player, more than any other, who allowed you Knick fans an occasional smile. Pay the man some respect.
Nate’s return to Madison Square Garden meant so much to him that Doc Rivers bucked his new rotation to give Robinson some minutes. Nate’s return meant so much to him that close friend Eddy Curry said Nate told him he might cry during the game.
And that’s how you reward his love for your fanbase? With a few half-hearted claps and a couple meager cheers? You are a weak bunch of fans who should be embarrassed by your lack of loyalty.
When Kobe Bryant scored 61 points on your team and you clowns chanted M-V-P for him, I thought that was the low point for your fanbase. I was wrong. You did yourselves one better last night. You took your old favorite, and you treated him like dog meat.
That old favorite said he now has new allegiances.
“Boston is my home now,” he said. “I have a new home and new fans and they are just as good.”
No they aren’t, Nate. They’re far better.