As you can imagine, everyone at Dime HQ doesn’t always agree on everything. And this is particularly the case when it comes projecting a player’s future. We all think we have what it takes to be an NBA GM, and we’ll go to bat for the players we believe in. But if there’s one player that sticks out from the pack from endless debates on Broadway, it’s Nate Robinson.
Being located in New York, we were able to see Nate from the moment he entered the League back in 2005 on the world’s most famous stage. While we saw his mistakes and flaws as he climbed his way up the learning curve, we also saw one of the most explosive scorers on the planet. The fact that 5-9 Seattle native is the NBA’s only three-time slam dunk champion shouldn’t be seen as a gimmick. Make no mistake, he can play.
Remember, this is a guy who averaged 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals in only 29.9 minutes per game during the 2008-09 season. And now, at 27 years old entering the prime of his career, Robinson somehow finds himself looking for another shot.
“One team’s trash is another team’s treasure,” Robinson told SI.com’s Sam Amick on Saturday. “With whatever team that I land on they know they’re going to get everything out of me. I’m going to come to practice early – first one there, last one to leave.
“I work hard every day, practice every day and play hard in games whether it’s one minute, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or 40 minutes. … I’m going to always cheer for my teammates, as everybody sees all the time. I’ll be the first guy off the bench, congratulating my guys or picking them up off the floor – doing everything a player is supposed to do.”
Unlike free agents such as Michael Redd and Erick Dampier who are still looking for a team, Robinson could have sat contently at the end of the Oklahoma City bench and collected the $4.5 million he was owed in the final year of his contract. Who knows, Russell Westbrook or Eric Maynor could have gotten hurt and Robinson would have been able to step in. Instead, he agreed to a buyout on Saturday, and assuming he he clears waivers on Tuesday, he will be able to choose his next team.
I can understand why Nate couldn’t find a spot in the rotation in Boston or Oklahoma City, but there are plenty of teams that should take a chance on him and let him play. How many players do you know can drop 41 off the bench? Twice. I’m going to venture not many.
“This whole situation has definitely humbled me as a person and as a player,” said Robinson. “I just feel like, at times, I really don’t get that fair shot, like some other guys in the league, but I guess that’s my path. … I’ll continue to work hard.”
Where do you think Robinson will land?
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