How can you not love Nate Robinson? He’s exciting, charismatic and can straight-up ball. As an undersized college basketball player myself, I was always admiring the perseverance, passion and heart that Robinson has possessed throughout his basketball career. While his antics and emotion on the court have not always been every coaches cup of tea, it has truly been a pleasure to see Robinson’s overall game mature and develop since he came into the league as a rookie in 2005.
As an ode to Nate on his 29th birthday, we take a look at his top 30 moments over the course of his athletic career — the good, the bad, the funny and the spectacular.
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Celtics Training Camp
At the beginning of training camp, there was a buzz about the eclectic group that the Boston Celtics brought into training camp prior to the 2010-2011 season. This group included Delonte West, Von Wafer, Shaquille O’Neal and Nate Robinson. During one of the team’s preseason sessions on the campus of Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, Nate spotted the Big Diesel chatting it up under the basket and decided to take advantage by dunking all over the big fella. Nate also decided to follow up his preseason event by completing a full suicide in Shaq’s size 22 sneakers.
Jumping Over Paul Pierce
Not one of Robinson’s greatest moments, but nonetheless, it is definitely noteworthy. Nate’s epic fail happened during Boston’s December matchup between the Knicks in 2010 when Pierce buried an arena-silencing jumper at MSG to give Boston the 118-116 victory. As Pierce celebrated with his best rendition of a human airplane, Robinson jumped over The Truth’s head, almost breaking his neck doing a face plant. Robinson acknowleged the situation after the game by tweeting, “Paul Pierce damn near killed me today.”
Making Fun Of Novak (Discount Double-Check)
It’s funny when NBA players have beef. It’s especially funny when a bench role player and a 5-9 spark plug get into it. This wasn’t the first time that Nate mocked the 6-9 shooter. However, this came after Steve Novak addressed Robinson as a child, calling him “Little Nate.” Nate decided to continue giving Novak a taste of his own medicine by doing the discount double-check celebration on repeat. The Bulls would go on to win that game behind Nate’s 35 points.
Dunk Contest Finish Over Dwight Howard
During the 2009 All-Star Weekend, Dwight Howard was all decked out in his Superman attire but there was one thing that could defeat the Man of Steel: Kryptonate. Sporting his custom Kryptonate Foamposites, Robinson brought the house down by dunking over the nearly 7-0 center, bringing his second slam dunk title back to New York City.
Nate Blocks Yao
Well this was embarrassing for Yao Ming, especially when he faked getting hit in the eye after getting stuffed by someone two feet smaller than him. In this clip, Nate climbs up Yao after T-Mac feeds him on the baseline, creating an ugly result for the Rockets.