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Nate Robinson Is The Most Overlooked Player In The NBA

Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson is one of the most talented guards in the league. But, they’ll never say that. It’s not the “right” thing to say…”how could he be?” Robinson has been overlooked his entire NBA career and it is a shame, this guy deserves much more money and much more respect in the NBA because he has earned it. This fall, the 29 year-old Robinson will be entering his ninth season in the league as a Denver Nugget, his sixth team in just eight years.

Last off season the Chicago Bulls needed to fill up their back court due to their MVP Derrick Rose recovering from his ACL tear, so they signed Nate Robinson to a one year deal worth about $1.2 million. Robinson was expected to play backup to Kirk Hinrich but nobody really knew if he would even last the entire season. In stead Nate Robinson did what Nate Robinson has been doing his entire life, he proved everyone wrong! He played his heart out game in and game out earning more minutes as the season went on and he became a fan favorite in Chicago.

The electricity that would have been missing in Chicago Bulls games due to Derrick Rose being out was now being brought by Nate Robinson one of the most explosive and exciting guards in the league, the 5-9 – 180 lb guard who makes up for his small stature with his enormous heart layed it all on the line in Chicago all year, diving for loose balls, taking it hard to the hoop, getting after it defensively and making big time plays. Robinson averaged 13.1 PPG, 4.4 APG and 1.0 SPG in just 25.4 mpg as a backup to Kirk Hinrich!

Robinson was having a great year, he had brought life to Chicago Bulls games that would have been missing all year with D.Rose injured. He was a spark off the bench all year, every time he was on the floor he made big plays and scored in bunches. But it was like nobody really cared about Nate Robinson, here was a guy who could have been out of the NBA two seasons ago, but was proving to all his critics and those that said he was too small that he can get it done! Robinson was out playing the guy that was playing ahead of him all year in Kirk Hinrich and there wasn even mention of Nate being able to crack the starting line up.  He was overachieving and the way the NBA is teams just don’t want to have faith in a small guy but this guy was playing like the biggest player on the floor and it was being ignored!

Robinson averaged 6 more points per game than Hinrich while only playing 25 mpg, he outplayed Hinrich all year but only got to start when Hinrich was injured and miss the end of the season. Robinson played in all 82 games and he shined, he had big games in the regular season and he played his heart out for the Bulls! The Bulls weren’t expected to finish fifth in the East without Rose many thought the Bulls wouldn’t even make the Playoffs but they did and Robinson was one of the main reasons and nobody was giving him credit!

But than it was time for the Playoffs. Now the world had to pay attention to Nate Robinson, they had no choice. Robinson and the Bulls were up against Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets in Round 1, it was a match up that many expected the Nets to win. But Nate who doesn’t really think much of what critics say and just goes out and plays the game truly showed the world how good he is, has been and can be! Robinson averaged 17 ppg in the series and had a historic 34 point clutch performance in game four that put the Bulls up 3-1 in the series.

Robinson scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, he had a run in which he scored 12 straight unanswered points after rallying from 14 down in the fourth Robinson sent the game to overtime. Than in overtime he hit a clutch running jumper with Deron Williams all over him near the end of overtime that almost won the game, eventually he fouled out and the Bulls did win the triple OT thriller. Robinson had just showed the world that size does not matter, he showed his talent, his ability to score the ball he played 31 minutes less than Hinrich that game but like he always has throughout his life Robinson made the most of what he has.

After leading the Bulls past the Nets in round one Robinson would have an even bigger chance to show the world who Nate Robinson really is, the Miami Heat were the next team that Robinson was up against and he shocked the world in game one. Robinson shocked the world dropping 27 points and 9 assists in a clutch game one victory over the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat that nobody saw coming. Robinson was all over the place that game, making big time plays, hitting big time clutch shots, he was playing like a superstar and he was proving that he is just more than a small dude who won the dunk contest 3 times or the backup point guard or an NBA journeyman. Robinson beat the Heat in game one and the whole world saw this dudes ability to go off and his hearty play, it felt like Nate would finally be appreciated and not overlooked going forward in his NBA career.

After having the best year of his career in Chicago and a memorable Playoff run in which he averaged 16 ppg and 4 apg in 33 mpg(career high)  it seemed like Robinson was finally going to get payed and find a secure home in the NBA. Robinson had done everything he needed to do to earn a secure 6th man role in the NBA and on some teams maybe even a starting spot.

Robinson had made it clear going into free agency that he wants to go to a team where he receives real playing time, respect from the coaching staff and a good contract. But it didn’t quite workout, the Chicago Bulls weren’t willing to pay Nate the money he wanted and they didn’t feel like they could give him heavy minutes with Derrick Rose returning so in the city he loved and became a fan favorite in Nate Robinson was gone in just one season and was getting ready to join another team.

The off season was a frustrating time for Robinson, after training his ass off everyday in the off seasons and than having it pay off in Chicago he was still not receiving any serious offers from NBA teams. It was like everybody forgot about Nate, they didn’t want to remember him, they didn’t like his style of play even though when given the green light his style of play resulted in some big wins for the Bulls. Nate was left hanging in free agency and was being overlooked again, it was like his memorable season in Chicago never even happened.

He received interest from the Mavericks, Hawks, Bucks and Nuggets and that was about it. Teams were trying to save money for next years free agency and they didn’t really want to spend some of it on Nate. It was a tough situation for him. The Seattle native eventually signed a 2 year deal with the Denver Nuggets worth $4 million, he is expected to again be a backup but this time to another small explosive dynamo guard in Ty Lawson.

This is going to be an interesting situation, as a matter of fact kind of weird. Brian Shaw is a rookie head coach, the Nuggets have six new players coming in this season, the back court is pretty loaded with Robinson, Lawson, Andre Miller, Randy Foye, Evan Fournier and new rookie Erick Green. It could be a tough season for Nate as far as playing time goes, its a shame that it had to be like this.

Once again, he is one of the most talented guards in the league. To be able to do what he does at his size is just unreal, at times when he gets going hell remind me a lot of Allen Iverson. He has been overlooked since day one though and it bothers me! In 08-09 he averaged a career high 17.2 ppg for the Knicks, he played great for the Celtics a couple seasons ago and played great in Golden State and Chicago. For the limited minutes he receives Nate has always been a great player.

Robinson has been critiqued and doubted his whole career but he just ignores that and plays the game, he proves the naysayers wrong but its like nobody really notices or cares. This dude is one of the most athletic players in the league he has a 43 inch vertical leap, one of the quickest first steps in the NBA, he is an explosive coring punch off the bench who can go off for 30 points if given the green light. He gets to the line, makes big plays and isn’t afraid of anybody! He is the poster boy for supreme confidence, he plays with his heart on his sleeve and gives it his all every game. He deserves better than this, he deserves a true home in the NBA and a much better contract.

Nate works harder than many players in the NBA during the off season and that is what makes him so effective during the season despite being just 5-9, though he has got payed and has more stability than usual by signing a 2 year deal I do wish Nate was in a better situation. There are a ton of teams that could use him and utilize his skills well, this guy has the potential to be a 6th man of the year. It would have been nice seeing Nate play for a team like the Lakers or Grizzlies this coming season,  it’ll be a strange situation for him in Denver and we hope it works out.

But Nate always works it out, he has been his whole career making the most out of what he has and he continues to be overlooked which sucks. It may always be like this for Nate, he doesn’t really fit the image of an “NBA Player” let alone star player  on and off the court, hes a real guy and it hurts him. Hopefully he continues being Nate Robinson because fans and players across the league do respect and love this dude, his style of play, his confidence, his heart and his work ethic are inspirational….and even though he may not get a secure spot on an NBA team and his career is at a crossroad we hope he continues playing with a chip on his shoulder.

Here’s to hoping Nate Robinson continues being Nate Robinson. 
By: Ekam.N

1 Comment

  1. hey

    February 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

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