Throughout his career, Nate Robinson has made a habit of defying expectations. Despite standing just 5â€™9, Robinson has made a niche for himself in the NBA as an explosive scorer and one of the leagues most vicious dunkers. The former UW star followed in the footsteps of Spud Webb and proved that size doesnâ€™t matter, winning not one, but three slam dunk contests.
While Robinson has become known for his elite athleticism, he acknowledges that he wouldnâ€™t be in the NBA if it werenâ€™t for the hard work and focus on the fundamentals that he put in at a young age.
â€œI was 10 years old when I first played organized basketball. I played for a team called the Mean Machines,â€ explained Robinson. â€œ My father introduced me to the game. I had a cousin who taught me the fundamentals of basketball, what it takes to really be great, really be successful. She worked out everyday at 6 oâ€™clock in the morning in Oakland, California and she took me with her and really got me going.â€
In a recent interview with SLAM, Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi disclosed that she was a big fan of Nate’s. Here’s what she had to say.
SLAM: Do you still talk to Nate?
Padma Lakshmi: I never really talked to him; I would yell at him from my seat [laughs].
SLAM: What would you yell?
PL: I just love watching him on the court because heâ€™s so low to the ground. Heâ€™s very fast. He doesnâ€™t share the ball a lot. [Laughs] Heâ€™s not a sharer.
Nate Robinson hasnâ€™t had any trouble staying busy this offseason. The point guard has been on the go for much of the summer and heâ€™s not going to slow down anytime soon. Looking at Robinsonâ€™s schedule, itâ€™s hard to believe that this is his time off.
Heâ€™s in a boxing training program every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Heâ€™s also gradually increasing the intensity of his individual basketball workouts. In his spare time, heâ€™s preparing to launch a brand new website that will allow him to be even more interactive with his fans. While many players are still in relaxation mode, Robinson is working hard and being productive.
â€œIâ€™m working out in Seattle,â€ Robinson told HOOPSWORLD in a phone interview. â€œI always start working out really hard by the beginning of August. By September, Iâ€™ll be getting ready for training camp or for whatever Iâ€™ll be doing â€“ maybe going overseas or playing football. Whatever it is, Iâ€™ll need to be in shape and Iâ€™m just getting ready right now.â€
Also, add traveling the world to the list of things that Robinson has done this summer. Two weeks ago, he traveled to China and Indonesia, where he served as an ambassador for the game of basketball and created many memories with the locals.
â€œI visited an orphanage, held a camp for some high school kids and practiced with the Indonesian national team,â€ Robinson said. â€œMy trip was great. It was a nice little vacation and it felt good to get away from the states for a little bit.â€
Now that heâ€™s back, heâ€™s trying to decide how heâ€™ll spend the rest of his summer. Will he tryout for an NFL team? Will he sign overseas? Robinsonâ€™s extraordinary athleticism gives him a variety of options.
At this point in time, Robinson seems determined to show the world that heâ€™s serious about football. He was a highly coveted recruit out of high school and played one year of defensive back with the Washington Huskies before giving up the sport for basketball. He also has football in his blood. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a star running back for Washington who earned MVP honors in the 1982 Rose Bowl and 1985 Orange Bowl.
Robinson wants to prove that he has NFL potential and expects to try out for a team in the coming weeks.
Nate Robinson just returned from a successful tour of Indonesia. Nate’s tour of Indonesia started in the city of Surabaya where he went to do a special press conference with around 150 high school journalists, followed by a formal press conference with professional journalists/media.
Later that evening Nate attended the DBL (Development Basketball League) Finals (East Java state championship) in DBL Arena Surabaya. The DBL is Indonesia’s biggest student basketball competition, held in 20 provinces (states) throughout the archipelago. The East Java championship is the last to be held in 2011 season. During the finals, Nate did the tipoff, judged a professional dunk contest in between the girls and boys finals, and lastly gave award presentations.
On the second day of the tour Nate visited a Muslim Orphanage in Surabaya. Nate spent time playing with the kids and encouraging them to keep going and chase a better future.
Later on, he participated in the DBL Camp 2011, where he joined NBL Australia and NBL Indonesia coaches to train some 220 best student athletes from the DBL competition (50-50 boys and girls). The kids that attended the camp were selected from a pool of 27,000 DBL participants in 2011 season, coming from all over Indonesia. Many come from extremely poor families, have never been on planes or nice hotels before they joined the DBL Camp. At the end of the camp, DBL will selected the top 12 boys and 12 girls to join the DBL Indonesia All-Star Team. The DBL All-Star team will travel to the Seattle, WA in November to play against high school players from Nate’s home town.
In the latter part of the week, Robinson traveled to Jakarta to join the national teams. He practiced and had photos taken with both the Men’s and Women’s National Team of Indonesia.
While visiting with the Men’s National Team, Nate had the opportunity to be interviewed by “Apa Kabar Pagi Indonesia” on TV ONE, which is the Good Morning Indonesia show (like The Today Show in the USA). He completed a couple of dunks on the show that wowed TV ONE viewers across the country.
Nate then attended a basketball clinic with the Women’s National Team at SMA 70 Jakarta, a public high school.
Finally Nate wrapped up his tour by on the “Hitam Putih” show, a Jay Leno-type talk show hosted by Deddy Corbuzier, a magician who is Indonesia’s equivalent of David Copperfield. Hitam Putih, which literally means Black and White, is one of Indonesia’s most popular shows, getting somewhere around 60 percent of viewership during the telecast.