CHICAGO — After struggling over the Chicago Bulls’ first three preseason games to find any kind of rhythm, Nate Robinson received words of encouragement from plenty of people. It seems that two particular groups put his mind at ease: His teammates, and his children. The point guard took those words to heart, both on and off the floor, delivering in a big way on Tuesday night in place of injured starter Kirk Hinrich.
“I was kind of hard on myself (about) making shots and guys are just like, ‘Just play, have fun. It will come back.’” Robinson said Tuesday after scoring 24 points and dishing out 13 assists in a 100-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. “I worked on my jump shot a lot and I was kind of disappointed in myself. But I talked to my kids the other day and they were like, ‘It’s OK, daddy. We still love you no matter what.’ So that kind of helped me out today just having happy thoughts and just going out there playing and having fun and I did that.”
Robinson’s ability to have fun on the floor has never been in question. After making big plays he usually throws his arms into the air as if he was an airplane. On this particular night, he through an alley-oop off the backboard, something he said he won’t do again for fear of the wrath of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. But it’s clear that Robinson is at his best when he’s having fun … and he was having plenty of that with his new teammates.
Considering Robinson is small (5-feet-9), offensive-minded and brings a loud personality, it’s easy to think that maybe he’s not a coach Thibodeau kind of guy.
“I thought the plusses outweigh any negatives,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He is loud and I prefer the loud to be on defense. But he’s mature and he’s grown a lot. He’s sort of an X-factor and I like that.”
Robinson was almost a novelty when he arrived in the NBA with the New York Knicks in 2005. He hit game-winning shots, dominated the dunk contest and made the New York locker room the noisiest place in the league.
Now Robinson is a 28-year-old veteran and father of three. He’s still got plenty of energy, but even he admits to mellowing out quite a bit.
“A lot,” he said. “I was 20 years old coming in. I was still star-struck by a lot of players I was always a fan of.
“I think me having kids really mellowed me down a lot, just having an understanding of a certain level of respect. Speak when spoken to, and always carrying yourself the right way. Knowing when to have fun and knowing when to be serious. It took me a while to understand it, but having kids helped me out a lot.”
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Many nights he’s the smallest player on the floor, but that doesn’t mean new Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson will be the quietest. He’ll be asked to provide energy for his new team, especially with the Bulls missing Derrick Rose for much of the season.
“I’m the guy that gets everybody involved and hyped up,” the 5-foot-9 Robinson said Wednesday after an evening practice at the Berto Center. “I just try to be the best teammate I can and push these guys to the limit.”
Robinson was personally recruited by coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Robinson in Boston. It didn’t take long nor was it a hard decision for the seven-year veteran to sign with Chicago this summer.
Check out Nate Robinson’s feature in the September 2012 Sole Collector iPad Edition. In the feature, Nate gives the Sole Collector crew an inside look at his sneaker collection, as well as insights into what inspires his style on and off the court.
You can download the September 2012 Sole Collector iPad edition at the iTunes store today.
Robinson (5-9, 180), a seven-year NBA veteran, comes to the Bulls after spending last season with the Golden State Warriors. Drafted out of Washington in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft (21st overall) by the Phoenix Suns (his draft rights were traded by the Suns along with Quentin Richardson and future considerations to the New York Knicks in exchange for Kurt Thomas and Dijon Thompson), Robinson has held stints with the Knicks (2005-10), Boston Celtics (2009-11), Oklahoma City Thunder (2010-11) and the Warriors (2011-12).
Last season with the Warriors, Robinson appeared in 51 games (nine starts) and averaged 11.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.0 rpg, and 1.16 spg in 23.4 mpg. He shot .424 from the field, .365 from downtown and .832 from the line.
A native of Seattle, Wash., the 28-year old Robinson has played in a career 448 regular season games (81 starts) and posted averages of 11.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.5 rpg, 0.90 spg, 23.0 mpg, .425 field goal shooting, .354 three-point shooting and .798 from the line. During the 2008-09 campaign with the Knicks, he posted career highs in points per game (17.2), rebounds per game (3.9), steals per game (1.28) and free throw percentage (.841). In 20 playoff appearances, he has averaged 4.0 ppg, 0.9 apg, 7.0 mpg, shot .366 from the field and .824 from the line.
On Friday July 20th, 2012, Nate Robinson will do a tandem jump with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team as part of the 2012 JBLM Air Expo.
A 2005 graduate of the University of Washington, and Seattle native, he was picked in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft. Robinson, a point guard, has played for the Knicks, Celtics, Thunder and Warriors. He is the NBA’s first three-time slam dunk champion.
The Air Expo is Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22, and is free and open to the general public. Gates open at 8 a.m. and flying starts at 11 a.m. both days. See http://www.lewismcchordairexpo.com/ or look for “Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012” on Facebook or Twitter.
For the past two seasons, Nate Robinson has hosted an online March Madness “Bracket Challenge” for his fans. Nate always rewards the winners with autographed memorabilia. This year he sent the winner, Bakari, an autographed jersey.
Bakari ended up beating out nearly 1400 other fans to win the challenge. He correctly predicted all of the Final Four participants and picked Kentucky to win it all.
Everyone knows that Nate is one of the biggest sneakerheads in all of sports. As such, sneaker blog NiceKicks.com decided to interview Nate and get his thoughts on the sneaker game.
Nice Kicks: You were our first ever Kicks On Court champion at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 NBA season. Personally, what is your favorite shoe that you’ve worn on court?
Nate Robinson: I’ve worn so many shoes, but one of my favorite shoes that I have worn on court is the “Birthday Bundle” LeBron IVs when I was with the Knicks. Although I’m a big Jordan guy, I didn’t wear a lot of Jordans in New York like my former teammate Quentin Richardson did, but I remember wearing those LeBrons. I wore those against Orlando one game, and I scored like 22 points in the 4th quarter on those guys. I wore those LeBrons with the orange shin pads I usually wear and the orange sleeve. I definitely remember that.
Nice Kicks: Wearing the “Kryptonate” Foamposite Lites in the 2009 Sprite Dunk Contest was one of, if not the biggest Kicks On Court moment within the past five years. Will we see more “Kryptonate” shoes in the future or was that just a one-time thing?
Nate Robinson: Well, the “Kryptonate” thing was perfect, and it made sense because it was the Dunk Contest and I was going against Dwight Howard who has the whole Superman theme going. Those shoes are so awesome, man – defeating Superman and the Kryptonite green was great. Those are pretty sweet. Right now, I’m working on a deal that I’m going to talk to Nike about. I have one of the sickest ideas. I want to see a special edition “Kryptonate” Foamposite One. I want to pitch this to Nike. I want them to come out with that “Kryptonate” colorway on the Foamposite One. They need to make them in that color because Penny was one of my favorite players growing up next to Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. I’m a big Penny fan, and I love when Nike recreates those old classics, like the Foamposite One, in new colorways. I’m going to pitch that to Nike real soon.”