Nate Robinson Interview
The New York Knicks had three first round picks in the 2005 NBA Draft and they used one on Nate Robinson, an exciting, undersized point guard. The 5-9, 180-pound high-flyer is built like Spud Webb with an extra 20 pounds of muscle. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Nate the Great early in preseason for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: When did you develop those crazy hops? I want them.
Nate Robinson: Ah, man, I was born with them. God blessed me with them.
InsideHoops.com: So when you were a little kid, you were already getting up higher in the air than little kids are supossed to?
Nate Robinson: Honestly, yeah. It just came natural. Something that came natural. I was born with it.
InsideHoops.com: What was your greatest experience in high school?
Nate Robinson: State championship. We played against this team called Mercer Island. We just jumped on them early and put them away. We went 28-1 (that season) and finished fifth in the nation.
InsideHoops.com: You went to Rainier Beach high school in Seattle, right?
Nate Robinson: Same high school Jamal (Crawford) went to, same high school Doug Christie went to, Lodrick Stewart that played for SC, Rodrick Stewart that played for Kansas, Chester Jiles that played for Kansas, Terrence Williams that played for Louisville. All my closest friends.
InsideHoops.com: And who was on the squad while you were there?
Nate Robinson: The twins, Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart. My best friend is Tyrone Shepard, he goes to a JUCO in Kansas.
InsideHoops.com: And college, what was your best experience there?
Nate Robinson: When I made the three-pointer to send us into overtime, we played Oregon State. We were 0-5 to start the PAC-10 season my sophomore year.
InsideHoops.com: And now the 2005 NBA Draft. Did you know you were going first round?
Nate Robinson: Naw, I didn't know.
InsideHoops.com: So it could have been first round or second, you didn't know.
Nate Robinson: Yup, it could have been either-or, I had no idea.
InsideHoops.com: Had the Knicks indicated that they were very interested in you?
Nate Robinson: Well Isiah (Thomas) said that when I first worked out. He told me I was going to be a great player. He said, you're going to be picked, don't know where, but you're going to be picked somewhere.
InsideHoops.com: And what did you do this summer?
Nate Robinson: I just spent time with my family. My son, my girlfriend, my mom, my dad, all my family members before I left.
InsideHoops.com: What's your vertical, any idea?
Nate Robinson: Like 40-something.
InsideHoops.com: And back to when you were growing up, who were your favorite players?
Nate Robinson: The man right there dribbling that ball (points to TV), Allen Iverson. He's my favorite.
InsideHoops.com: Have you had a chance to tell him that yet?
Nate Robinson: Yeah, I told him. It's kind of awesome. It's a big relief. I can just breathe now. For so many years I wanted to meet him. I wanted to see what kind of person he was. He's a great person. I look up to him so much. So I'm going to play hard and try to emulate some of the things that he does in the game, and put it in my own game.
InsideHoops.com: Do you feel an attachment to shorter stars who have succeeded in this league, past guys like Spud Webb or some current guys?
Nate Robinson: Naw, not really. But it's weird, I like big guys like Shaq. Shaq might be one of the funniest guys I've ever really... I don't know him, but just by watching him on TV, some of the interviews he does, and he'll be dancing after the interview is over. So those are some of the things that I like, guys with character. Characters and personalities. It's just been great watching it.
InsideHoops.com: That's funny, because Shaq and you are about as opposite as it gets as a player, but it's about the personality.
Nate Robinson: Yeah, but, he kind of acts like me. He's a goofy guy.
InsideHoops.com: And now the Knicks, what have they told you about what you'll be doing this season.
Nate Robinson: Coach Brown just said, come to practice and play hard. And leave it to that. See how everything goes.
InsideHoops.com is the web's best basketball site. Read daily.