Latest News, NBA / May 6, 2010 / 11:30 am

The Celtics Rob Nate Robinson Of $1 Million

Nate Robinson, Dime #46

All 15 guys on an NBA roster want to play. That goes without saying. But now I can understand why Nate Robinson must have been so upset riding the pine in Boston at the end of the season: It cost him $1 million. During his time with the Celtics, Robinson didn’t see action in only five games. The first three were right after he got traded, and then there were two random ones in April – the 4th against Cleveland and the 7th against Toronto. While at the time no one thought much of it, Boston’s motives now appear clear: It saved them $2 million.

According to ESPN.com’s Henry Abbott, here’s what happened:

A clause in Robinson’s contract calls for him to make a $1 million bonus if he both played in at least 58 games and made the playoffs this season. Robinson’s Celtics are in the postseason but he played in 56 games. As a result, the Celtics saved the $1 million they would have paid Robinson — equivalent to a quarter of his reported annual salary — and an additional $1 million they would have owed in luxury tax to the NBA (most of which would have been distributed to teams with payrolls below the luxury tax threshold).

As Abbott points out, to reach 58 total games played, after sitting out those first three, Robinson would have had to play in every remaining game for the Celtics. While his playing time was sporadic, with 10 days left in the season, he remained on track to get paid. He’d played in 20 straight games, averaged 15 minutes a night, and was doing well for the C’s. But then somehow, Robinson gets the dreaded DNP-CD and that money goes away.

If I’m Nate Robinson, I’m pissed. I show up, I contribute, and $1 million is basically stolen from me. Now that this contract stipulation has come to light, it makes you wonder if Mike D’Antoni (or Donnie Walsh) had an ulterior motive to benching Nate earlier in the year on the Knicks. Once again, it’s just a business.

What do you think?

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  • Jesse

    He should fire his agent.

  • http://www.designbydesmond.com My Favorite Superhero

    That is kind of grimy, but then again, the team and the NBA is a business and at the end of the day, every business is looking to cut costs!

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    There’s some players out there who are “stealing” money from their teams. It’s only natural that a team can “steal” money from a player as well.

    The bigger story, if I’m Nate, is that I’m not even worth $2 million to my team. They would rather save a couple million than to use me. Like you said, it’s a business.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    And any player who says they wouldn’t try something shady like this to gain $2 million or save $2 million is straight lying.

  • http://www.SoulChorea.com Kermit The Washington

    This was mad grimy. BUT…who the heck allows a clause like that to be slipped into their contract? Horrible agent. Fire your agent, Nate.

    But dag, that sucks. So THAT’s why he was benched like that? ‘Cause this whole time I been like “yo, everytime he comes in he gives them a big spark; what’s the deal?” Now I know.

    So how come he’s not getting any burn NOW? I don’t remember seeing him in the postseason at all. I wasn’t paying that close attention to the Celts games though, so I could be wrong.

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703154723/the-soulchorea-project?pos=1 Kermit The Washington

    Oh, and this DEFINITELY has to be behind the New York benching situation. Maybe not the ONLY reason, but it was definitely in there.

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJay23

    Grimy as a mofo but players “steal” millions ALL THE TIME.

    And Nate might wanna have words with the fucktard agent that lets that shit end up in his contract.

  • hahns

    remember that his agent was the one getting him in hot water demanding for a trade when nate himself didnt’t say anything?
    fire that chump nate.

  • control

    Honestly, he wasn’t going to get that million unless he got traded anyways, NY clearly wasn’t going to make the playoffs. Despite me thinking the Celts are douchebags from the owners down to the ball boys looking like douchebags while cleaning sweat off the floor (hell, even 90% of the fans and people living in Boston are douchebags), I don’t think they did anything wrong here.

    Plus, wasn’t Nate in the Doc River’s dog house for a few games because of something he did or something?

  • Captain Fantastic

    I personally find it hard to believe that Nate wouldn’t be playing if he could significantly contribute to the Celtics winning a championship. Irrespective of that, doesn’t Nate sign his contracts?


    The Knicks were never making the playoffs so i really doubt that was the thought behind Mike D benching Nate, plus the month he was on the bench was probably the most successful month of the Knicks season.
    Benching a player who is capable of contributing just so save a bit of money is pretty shady, but when Nate signed the contract he probably knew it was one of those possible but highly unlikely bonuses that alot of players have in their contracts, like Eric Dampier being an all star, Josh Smith winning the 3pt shoot out contest or Kwame Brown winning the MVP.

  • Celts Fan

    @Control – EXACTLY. If Nate hadn’t done some stupid ish (didn’t he pull a Ricky Buckets and shoot on his own hoop?) on the Knicks and gotten himself benched for a month, it woulda been done before he even got to Boston. and I remember those games he sat. Leading up to them, he was gunning and taking bad, rally-killing shots. The old race down the floor and shoot a 3 with 20 seconds on the shot clock routine may fly for D’Antoni, but it doesn’t here. He pulled that for a few games, then Doc benched him.

  • karizmatic

    I don’t know if the Knicks really were thinking about it although it is likely, but it’s obvious the Celtics were well aware of the situation.

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703154723/the-soulchorea-project?pos=1 Kermit The Washington

    Dag I forgot about the playoff requirement. This was definitely NOT the reason behind the Knicks’ benching him at all LOL


    1 mil for them is like 100 $ for us…u will get over it

  • Diego

    Concur with Control. Celtics did nothing really wrong. Had Nate gotten $ it would have been due to luck of being traded to Boston. And had the Knicks not unfairly benched Nate for so long, Nate would have gotten the $ ultimately following trade to Boston.

    And don’t players get some extra $ anyway for their teams being in and advancing in the playoffs? I don’t think players play for weeks and months in the post-season for free (even ignoring contract incentives).

  • kowtz

    Why he’s so pissed? It’s called a BONUS… Be takfull if you get it, move on if you don’t…

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    If you’re valuable enough to the team, they’ll pay you more. In other words, if you’re so good that you deserve to be on the floor THAT much, you deserve the extra money. Obviously, the Celtics don’t NEED Nate that much that they thought his 15 minutes a night was worth a MILLION dollars. Cmon now.

  • Vinny Del Negro

    If Rondo gets injured and they want to put him in, he should hold out to renegotiate on the spot.

  • the cynic

    pissed about what?!?! he wasn’t going to get paid in NY. He didn’t do anything to contribute to the celtics making the playoffs, so he doesn’t deserve the money….. Oh wait doesn’t he get paid for being on the roster in the playoffs; Nate should stay quiet and keep his rabbit’s foot in his pocket

  • k

    I want E house and Bill Walker back

  • humanomaly

    Now other free agents will think before wearing fairy green. NO CLASS ORGANIZATION.

  • Hawkeye

    he would have blown that money doing something stupid anyway.

  • sh!tfaced

    Never would have happened if he hadn’t taken a shot at the opponent’s basket.

    Nate did it to himself. Any way you look at it.

    A million bucks will be gone in time but 3-time slam dunk champ will be there forever is the only compensation he can have right now… pathetic as it is… LOL

  • NTstateOfmind

    you can’t really get robbed if it was never yours in the first place

    …hence “BONUS”

  • http://Dime Celt4life

    All right Control! Ya! gettin a liltle personel with the douchebags stuff. Stick to what ya know which is hater aid 101!

  • http://Dime Celt4life

    Why is the Title Boston stole! This was in place before coming here, further more he is a defensive liability! If he did pick up the defensive plays (which he didn’t) he can’t play anyway!