Nate Robinson: Living
(and Playing) Large
Name: Nate Robinson
Who He Is: Guard, New York Knicks
Why He’s Fearless: The 5-foot-9 inch Robinson is a live wire in every sense. He loves to take the big shot (whether or not his coach wants him to), drive and dunk over big guys, scrap with teammates or opponents (ask J.R. Smith) and argue with referees — the latter two making him an annual league leader in technical fouls. Last year, after one particularly egregious tech, his coach Mike D’Antoni said, “That’s why you don’t have concealed weapons, ’cause I’d have shot him at that point.”
Most Fearless Moment: A toss-up: His jump over the 7-foot Dwight Howard while wearing head-to-toe green to represent “KryptoNATE” to win the 2009 slam dunk contest or when he blocked the shot of the NBA’s tallest man, the 7-foot-6 Yao Ming in 2006.
Expert Testimony: “I think his intensity comes from a disbelief that he could be an NBA player. People always telling you, ‘You’re too small; you can’t make it,'” says Kenny Smith, a World Championship winner and current analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA. “Any guy that size is gonna have delusions of grandeur.” Nate, he says, just doesn’t accept that he’s not on the same level. “[His size] doesn’t register. And if it did he wouldn’t be what he is. He does not believe he’s 5-10.”