Nate: Willing to help ‘by any means’
|02.23.10 at 6:11 pm ET|
Nate Robinson promised his new teammates and fans that they are going to see a determined player as he begins his Celtics career in Boston. “It’s a brand new start,” said Robinson, who was seated next to Marcus Landry, the other player acquired in the trade with the Knicks.
“I’m just looking to keep my mind free and no detours. I’m on track and not looking for any detours. I’m just going to have my mind focused on the prize and that’s to win games in the playoffs and win a championship and help this team to that by any means, whether I play one minute or 30 minutes, I’m going to be here whenever my number is called, I’ll be ready to play.”
[Click here to hear some audio highlights of Nate Robinson's press conference before Tuesday's game.]
Robinson, after missing his first two games with an illness, will make his debut against his former Knicks team at TD Garden.
[Click here to hear Nate Robinson's opening remarks followed by Marcus Landry's remarks.]
Here are the highlights of Robinson’s press conference before members of the New York and Boston media.
Talk about being a Celtic: ‘This is a great opportunity for the both of us, being part of a great historic team, there’s a lot of pride, like I said history. It’s overwhelming, being part of a franchise that’s accustomed to winning, and that’s something we are trying to bring to this team, more victories, a lot of hustle, and a lot of team ball.’
Emotions about playing against Knicks: ‘Well first and foremost, they gave me my first opportunity to showcase my talent and be a part of the NBA. They gave me my first chance, so I’m always going to respect the organization and everything they did for me, its going to be different, now I’m going to be wearing green, and im used to wearing orange and blue. It’s a great opportunity, it’s a great opportunity or us, we get to learn from some of the NBA’s greats right now, you just gotta take it one game at a time, go out there and play the game that I know how to play, and just learn, keep it going and keep moving forward.
Doc calling Nate before trade: ‘Well, I talked to my agent, and he was just like this deal might go down, right after the dunk contest, so I said, ok? How real is it? And then I didn’t hear anything for a couple a days, and then I became a Celtic. Doc, he’s honest, he’s straight forward, and as a player that’s what you like, for a coach to always be honest with you and explain exactly what he wants you to do, and he’s all about winning, each guy on the team is all about winning. I’ve been a winner all my life, and that’s something I want to continue to be, is a winner. Doc makes you that much more confident in becoming a winner, and that’s something that I love.’
What Doc said Nate’s role would be: ‘Just come in, and just be Nate. He doesn’t want to change me, just be me, learn from the events, just come in and be ready to play.’
Talk about ‘divorce’ with Knicks, and why he didn’t see eye to eye with Mike [D'Antoni]: ‘I honestly don’t know, I did everything coach asked, and I guess it wasn’t good enough. I’m always going to keep trying, even if we don’t see eye to eye, I’m going to continue to do everything I can to help my team win, but like I said, I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Everything wont be perfect, there have probably been times you and your mom and dad haven’t seen eye to eye, but you’re still going to love and respect them. I still respect coach, love coach, everything is the same but now I’m on a different team and I have a new coach that I’m looking up to and listening to. Again, I’m a part of a great organization, and we are just trying to win, go far in the playoffs, and bring banner 8 home.’
Was parting with the Knicks mutual: ‘Like I said, I love the game of basketball, no matter where I land, I landed in Boston, this is definitely a plus, I’m happy, there’s a big smile on my face, and I’m ready to play ball.
Did trade demand in December result in trading?: ‘I believe so. A guy like myself sitting for a whole month, I believe Doc and the Celtics were saying well if he’s sitting, we could use him. So they made the trade happen, made it work, I thank god for the opportunity, I thank god that he put me through that whole month of sitting down and watching the game, being able to go back and pinpoint what I did wrong and areas where I can get better as a player, as a man, as a teammate, as a father, as a person. I think it made me stronger and really believe that you cant take this game for granted. This is all I know, is basketball. I love it dearly, so I’m not going to let myself take it away from me again, I’m not going to take the game away, I’m going to do everything accordingly. I want to be that teammate that everyone wants to be around, and everything. So this is a brand new start for me.’
Defensive role: ‘I consider myself a decent defender, I’m not the best defender, but I’m going to work hard. That’s one thing I know about myself, whatever coach asks, I’m going to do. If he asks me to pick up full court, I’m going to do that, keep my man in front of me and play that team basketball that Boston is used to playing. I’m just trying to come in and help the team the best way that I know how.’
Playing time: ‘I don’t know, I’m just going to go in there and feel like a rookie again, take it one game at a time, and whenever my number is called ill go out there and play.’
What does it mean to be Nate?: ‘Just be me, play with fire and energy, I play with a lot of energy, and play for the love of the game and I guess that’s what it is.’
On jump from Knicks to Celtics: ‘With New York, I’ve shared and cherished a lot of memories playing there. I know it hast been the best winning seasons and all, but it definitely made me stronger as a person and a player. Its tough losing almost every night, go in there and get the same questions asked almost every night, you just have to be ready to play. Here, they are accustomed to winning so you have to be strong enough to change your mindset knowing we are here to win every single night, we aren’t taking L’s. That’s the way they carry themselves. That’s the way I’ve been carrying myself since I was a little boy, always been a winner, I’m mad when I lose, I always am looking for the reason I lost, and we don’t want that feeling. For us to come from an organization that hasn’t been the greatest, but now being here and being winners, they expect a lot out of us, we have to be our A game and our winning mentality here as well.’
Personality in locker room: ‘I talked to him (Glen Davis) the other day in practice. He said to keep an open mind with everything , let everything soak in, not try to force things, just be you, and everything will fall into place.’
Establishing reputation on court, not just dunk contest: ‘Of course I’m known for dunking, winning the dunk contest three times, but that’s not all Nate Robinson, if you follow the way I play the game, I play hard, I play as a teammate, I get the crowd involved, I feed off the energy f the crowd and my teammates, I play for the love of the game. Its not that I just dunk, because in the games, I barely dunk. I do a lot of other things that people overlook and over see because they just watch me once a year in the dunk contest. There’s more to Nate Robinson than just that, I try to compete every night, I play hard every night, I feel like I can win, I feel I wanna be the best on the court, so I play accordingly, that’s who Nate Robinson is, that’s what you’re going to get from me every night.’
Are fans going to see different Nate Robinson: ‘They definitely are, it’s a brand new start, I’m looking forward to keeping my mind free, no detours, I’m on a track and I’m not looking for any detours. I’m just going to have my mind focused on the prize, and that’s to win games in the playoffs, and win a championship, and help this team to do that, no matter what it is. Weather I play one minute or 30 minutes, I’m going to be here helping this team, and whenever my number is called I will be ready to play.’