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New contract gives Robinson a new beginning

Nate Robinson [1] is entering his sixth season in the NBA, but in a lot of ways, his career has a new beginning.

After more than four seasons with the Knicks, and a few months with the Celtics [2], Robinson is returning to Boston with a two-year deal that gives him a fresh start.

‘€œFor me, I think it will be a good start for me to just come in and start from scratch,’€ he said in a conference call. ‘€œI loved my time there in Boston. The fans welcomed me with open arms, the team, coach Doc (Rivers [3]), Danny Ainge, everybody, the whole organization, they were real good to me. I decided they’€™re a great, winning organization, a lot of history, and I think I fit in well with the guys. So I was like, why not?’€

Even though Robinson was only been traded to the Celtics in February, he is preparing for next season like a player who has been with the team for years. He immediately embraced the tradition of the organization and was struck by the Celtics relentless drive for victory.

Robinson spends his days in Seattle gyms with hometown friends including Brandon Roy [4], Jamal Crawford [5], and Aaron Brooks. They work out three times a week and play games for two. (Robinson will also throw out the first pitch at Friday’s Red Sox [6] – Mariners game in Seattle.)

For the first time in his career, he is spending his offseason preparing to contend, not just compete.

‘€œThe main thing that stood out to me was just their will to win,’€ he said. ‘€œThey expect to win every night. I was like, ‘€˜Wow, this is awesome.’€™’€

Robinson says he never experienced such strong team chemistry on the Knicks like he did on the Celtics. It makes his return that much sweeter knowing that Doc Rivers, the coach who expressed confidence in him when he wasn’€™t seeing major minutes, will be back on the sidelines and the core of the team is still in tact.

Even if the bench will have a different look next season with the departures of Tony Allen [7] and Rasheed Wallace [8], Robinson is still confident the reserves can get the job done, pointing to Game 4 as a glimpse into their potential.

He is also looking forward to having Avery Bradley [9], another Seattle-area athlete, on the team. Robinson has already reached out to the rookie and believes that in spite of their similar games, the two can make one another better on the court.

Robinson’€™s confidence in the Celtics has him focused on their own potential to win and not that of their Eastern Conference opponents.

‘€œWe’€™ve got to continue to play our game and we’€™ll be ok,’€ he said.

As Robinson prepares for the upcoming season, he is dedicating himself as much to the team as he is to the game. He plans to speak at Kendrick Perkins [10]‘€™ basketball camp before looking forward to a full training camp with the Celtics.

After five years in the NBA, Robinson is looking forward to his new beginning.

‘€œ[I want to] get in good with the guys,” he said. “Let them know that I’€™m here being a great teammate and I’€™ve got their back through thick and thin, no matter what.”