“Nate is pure energy, man, I said it from Day 1, since he has been here. We hated to lose E. House but not only is [Robinson] pure energy, he’s good energy. He’s almost like fresh air. He fits right in with our team, he’s unselfish. We all knew he could play, but his personality is what stands out most about him – very respectable person, very high energy. And, like I said, I love the way he plays. We love the way he comes out and just puts it all on the floor.”– Kevin Garnett
Nate Robinson is not Eddie House. Nate Robinson is not Stephon Marbury. But, the Celtics are thrilled that Nate Robinson is Nate Robinson and Doc Rivers has been very smart and flexible in learning how to use the guards considerable talent and energy. When we lost to the Celtics a few days ago, we witnessed Doc’s willingness to put faith in Robinson in his first game as a Celtic. He kept Nate in the rotation late in the contest although Nate was not having a great game. It was clear that he intended Nate to be more than a novelty act.
Doc confirmed the importance of the Nate trade to the Celtics when he approached the guard to have him teach the team a play the Knicks used to get Nate going. Not only did Doc treat Nate as though he wanted him on the team, he immediately gave Robinson a leadership role by delegating responsibility to him to teach and interact with his teammates. Just brilliant coaching and leadership by Doc who clearly understands the importance of delegation and the need for players to have an affinity (not necessarily like) for each other.
The result was two consecutive victories in which Nate reprised his spark plug role with the Knicks, except that he was not thrown in to overcome double digit deficits.
Garnett, the team leader just loves the possibilities with Nate.
“He’s the reason, really, why we turned the corner like we did,” Garnett said of Robinson’s performance. “I think he took the momentum himself and just ran with it. We were talking about the possibilities of what this could be with him, especially with he and [Rajon] Rondo on the court. Defensively, that’s going to be hell for opposing guards bringing the ball up. So, Nate’s a blessing in disguise for our team and we’re glad to have him.”
In response to the love, Nate said:
“They made it easy for me, welcomed me with open arms, just to play my game. It’s always good to have KG, Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], Rondo, and all the guys tell me just play your game and we’re going to get it on the defensive end. The first couple times [playing in the TD Garden] I was kind of nervous, I’m used to being on the other side. So, it’s always been that rivalry, Boston-New York. Being here, it’s definitely easier for me, the fans welcomed me with open arms.
Beyond the court, Celtics fans are also getting juiced about the possibilities. In Pure Energy, the Celtics Blog wrote:
Still, if Nate can keep up something close to this kind of production shooting the ball (53% from 3 point range), nobody is going to miss Eddie House’s production.
Meanwhile, some New York fans turn their positive vibes and dreams to the knees of sky-jumper Bill Walker who has had two career scoring nights in a row for a team out of the playoff picture. And the New York press with their laudable (or is that laughable) professionalism continue to refer to Nate with the great disrespect they feel compelled to heap on a player from their lofty perch. In one of his latest tweets, Newsday scribe Alan Hahn swung at Nate with some slapstick humor when he opined “ alanhahn He’s like 25 Cent. RT @starox: @alanhahn Nate Robinson also looks like a tiny 50 Cent.” Hahn’s buddy Frank Isola apparently couldn’t let go of his hater-mosity towards Nate1 when he recently wrote “And all this time we didn’t think ‘Lil Him was paying attention when D’Antoni was coaching” in reference to Nate teaching a play to the Celtics.
As I have been saying for over a year, I am happy that Nate is finally somewhere where his talents and constant effort will be appreciated.
1I find it amazing that writers dare to make a distinction between the professionalism of bloggers and journalists. It’s all the same and journalists set the tone and the standards or lack thereof.