Nate Robinson did not last more than a year in a Celtics uniform, but he definitely left a lasting impression. He delivered critical contributions for Boston during its 2010 run to the NBA Finals (Game 6 vs. Magic, Game 4 vs. Lakers) before being essentially benched in Game 7 by Doc Rivers (played just three minutes in the defeat).
After a disappointing statistical start to year two in green, he was the forgotten piece packaged with Kendrick Perkins in the shocking trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder that brought Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston.
Robinson has been out of the NBA for a couple seasons now, but he'll be back at the TD Garden Friday night, along with a host of former Celtics for the Big 3 Tournament. Bostonsportsjournal.com caught up with Robinson this week to discuss the Big 3, his Celtic memories and regrets, the future of Kyrie Irving in Boston and much more.
What has it been like playing in the Big 3 during your first year here?
Nate Robinson: It's fun. Honestly, I can't even lie. It's fun. It's challenging because everyone is trying to post me up. 3-on-3, you have to hold your own. You're on your own island, playing against another opponent. You have to win your matchup.
Looking forward to getting back to the Garden again?
Robinson: I expect it to be like it was when I was playing here. The fans are awesome. They give you a lot of energy. They just want to see fun and hard-playing basketball.
What do you remember most about your time in Boston? Your big game in the Finals? The Game 6 against the Magic?
Robinson: I mean, all of those plays man. Shrek and Donkey. Even when Shaq was there, that was pretty cool. The fans showed love. It went so fast. It only got two half-seasons in. It was fun. I enjoyed my time. I'm looking forward to Friday.
I know you have touched upon your disappointment about only getting to play three minutes in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals in the past. How much does it wear on you to this day?