It’s been a while since we saw Uncle Drew hit the courts to school hordes of unsuspecting streetballers, but it was worth the wait. With a new (or should we say, “old”) acquaintance in tow, Uncle Drew is ready to wreak havoc all over again. We spoke with “Lights Out” aka Nate Robinson, on how Part III came down and how he may take his next battle into the virtual world of videogames.
When were you first approached about participating in the Uncle Drew spots?
This summer when I got back from Portugal. My agent called me and asked me if I wanted to hear the good news or the great news. I was like, “I want to hear the great news first.” So he told me about that and I was stoked, I was excited. I couldn’t wait. I kept asking, “When is it?” I kept bugging him.
I’ve been bugging Kyrie for like the last year and a half. It finally came true.
What was the good news part of the conversation?
He said that he lowered his car insurance by switching to Geico. I was like, “Yeah, I knew that was coming.” [laughs]
Did this announcement happen before you and Kyrie went at it in the summer in New York?
Actually it happened after New York. After we played against each other the Uncle Drew thing came up.
You think that had any influence?
I don’t think so. I’ve just been bugging him. Kyrie was probably like, “We gotta give it to Nate. He’s probably the best character for Uncle Drew III.” It was just a perfect relationship, a perfect bond. This is just the beginning of a great relationship with the brand. I’m really looking forward to collaborating in the future with Pepsi Max and with Kyrie with Uncle Drew.
What’s your character’s name and did you come up with it?
Robinson: They had me as another name and I was like, “Nah, I wanna pick my own name.” I picked “Lights” and it was for my uncle, his name was Orlon Robinson. He died of diabetes and his nickname was “Lights”–we called him “Uncle Lights.” It was something I wanted to give as a tribute to my uncle, because my father and my grandmother on my dad’s side, all think I look like him a lot. I have his personality. I love my uncle, he taught me so much. He didn’t get a chance to really see me blossom in the NBA, so I got the chance to show him how much I really love him and appreciate him when they let me change the name. When I told them the story about it they were like, “That’s cool, that’s the perfect name.” So my name is “Lights Out” Jenkins. [Ed note: Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore will play Light's sister, "Betty Lou Jenkins."]
CHICAGO — The most memorable moment of the Chicago Bulls’ 2013 playoff run came at the hands of Nate Robinson. The undersized, occasionally reckless veteran guard exploded for 34 points off the bench to help the Bulls pull off a 142-134 triple-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their first-round series. With Derrick Rose sitting out the whole season and Joakim Noah playing through a foot injury, someone had to step up. And that savior came in Robinson’s 5-foot-9 frame.
Fast-forward to the eve of the 2013-14 season’s tipoff — Rose is back and looking as good as he ever has, and Robinson has moved on, signing a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Denver Nuggets. Even though the Bulls opted not to re-sign him, the playoff run will forever hold special meaning for Robinson.
“It’s something special to me,” Robinson said before the Bulls’ 94-89 preseason-closing win against the Nuggets. “It was a special season and a great group of guys, man. And I miss it. I’d be lying to say I didn’t, but the guys over there, they showed me so much love — the coaching staff, the organization, the fans. It was a great run.”
Shout out to my big bro Gary Payton for the Hall of Fame honor. It was great watching you as a kid, GP. We (and when I say we, I mean Seattle!!!) thank you for all the great memories. Playing on your AAU TEAM as a kid was the best time of my high school life. GP All-Stars was one of the best AAU teams ever. Thanks for showing me how to be a hard worker and fierce competitor and to never back down.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday joined visiting NBA star Nate Robinson in learning basic taekwondo techniques, as part of the city’s efforts to promote the Summer Universiade it is hosting in 2017.
To boost the popularity of taekwondo — a sport in which Taiwan stands a good chance of winning medals — Taipei City’s Department of Sports invited Hau and Robinson to don taekwondo outfits, receive instruction from Taiwanese Olympic gold medalist Chu Mu-yen (朱木炎) and perform a few moves with a group of elementary-school students.
While practicing together under Chu’s guidance, Hau praised Robinson as a hardworking athlete who has outperformed many taller NBA players, and said young Taiwanese athletes should learn how to overcome physical drawbacks and strive for greatness.
“Nate Robinson is a hardworking athlete, and we hope his story will inspire Taiwanese athletes to seek greatness in the Summer Universiade,” he said at the Zhongzheng Sports Center.
Robinson, who is on a five-day trip in Taiwan, described taekwondo as a difficult but beautiful sport, and said he would learn to excel in the sports if given a chance.
“If I took a class and learned how to do this I think I would be pretty good because I would challenge myself to be the best at what I do,” he said.
Check out Nate Robinson going toe-to-toe with Kyrie Irving at Nike Pro City in New York earlier this week. The former New York Knick was in town for a basketball camp and is still a favorite of NYC fans.
July 26, 2013, Denver – The Denver Nuggets have signed free-agent guard Nate Robinson to a multiyear contract, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.
Robinson, 5-9, 180, has averaged 11.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls.
Most recently with the Bulls in 2012-13, Robinson averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 assists while shooting .405 from 3-point range. During a 19-game stretch from March 8 to April 14, he averaged 18.6 points and 5.1 assists.
“Nate provides a unique combination of speed, scoring, passion and explosiveness,” Connelly said. “He’s proven that he can fit in any system and enjoy success at any tempo.”
Robinson enjoyed an impressive playoff run last spring, averaging 16.3 points and 4.4 assists while helping the Bulls advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
He recorded a historic performance in Game 4 of Chicago’s first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, scoring 34 points off the bench in just 29 minutes of a triple-overtime win. His 23 points in the fourth quarter were second only to Michael Jordan in a Bulls playoff game, and his 34 set a franchise postseason record for a reserve.
Against Miami in Game 1 of the East semifinals, Robinson joined Jordan, Derrick Rose and Scottie Pippen as the only Chicago players in the past 25 seasons to have at least 25 points and nine assists in a playoff game.
Robinson, 29, was drafted 21st overall out of the University of Washington in 2005. His best statistical season came in 2008-09 when he averaged 17.2 points and finished third in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.
Chicago will always have a place in my heart. I’m going to miss all of my teammates. It was a treat playing along side of all of them. All are stand up guys.
I wanna give a special thanks to Coach Randy Brown of the Chicago Bulls for helping me out and keeping it 100 with me from jump! Exactly what I needed last season.
I know the NBA is a business, but when you build friendships with guys on a team and a connection with fans in a city, it’s hard to say goodbye.
Thanks again for the love, Chitown.
Nate Robinson is not new to Kicks On Court.
The state of Nate is very much intact and has, in fact, always been marked by consistency since the beginnings of our Kicks On Court column. If you recall, Nate was the first ever Kicks On Court Champion in 2010, wearing sneakers such as the “Birthday Bundle” LeBron IV, the “Altitude” 13s and the “St. Vincent-St. Mary” LeBron V. His reputation as a sneaker guy in the NBA is well documented, and even his peers take notice of what graces his feet on the regular.
“You know, Nate is going to go to the extreme with his kicks on court,” said fellow Kicks On Court Champion nominee Nick Young. “That’s just what he does.”
Nate has always worn a medley of sneakers on court; Barkleys, Pennys, Kobes, Jordans and LeBrons have all been laced up by him throughout his career. Yet, this season he was granted the opportunity to play for the team his childhood idol, Michael Jordan, led during the 90s. For Nate, that meant playing in the United Center, donning pinstripe uniforms and channeling MJ in everything from jaw-dropping highlights to kicks on court.
“Before the season, I went back and watched MJ play, and I paid attention to what he wore against certain teams,” said Robinson. “Some of those games inspired what I wore this season.”
The inspiration was definitely obvious on some nights more than others. Sure, he wore an array of Jordans on court for the majority of the season (all but one game this year), including the “Hare” Air Jordan 7, the “Taxi” Air Jordan 12 and the “Miro” Air Jordan 7, but there were certain notable choices he made in literally trying to be like Mike. For example, Robinson specifically rocked the “Concord” Air Jordan 11 in one of the few games that the Chicago Bulls donned the ever-so-popular pinstripe uniforms. The “Concord” 11 has been a common wear in the NBA for the past couple of seasons, but having the presence of mind to wear a shoe MJ wore consistently with those same pinstripe uniforms was, well, Jordan-like.