July 31, 2005

Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood

I won't pretend to be the first person to make this statement, but nevertheless, you heard it here first: Knicks' PG Nate Robinson is going to be one of the most exciting players in the League for years to come. If you're not familiar with Nate, picture basketball's equivalent of a midget flying off a trampoline -- this guy is Earl Boykins with insane hops. And if you're not familiar with Earl Boykins, well, you need to watch more basketball, because watching 5-5 guys like Boykins light up players a foot taller is downright inspirational. By extension, seeing a 5-9 guy like Robinson throw down a ferocious tip dunk is enough to make you stand up and throw your beverage against the wall without even realizing what you've done.

If you're not yet on board the Nate Robinson bandwagon, perhaps I can entice you with some inexplicably grainy footage (what year is this, anyway? Was this filmed with my family's circa 1982 VHS camera?) of one of his dunks in a recent summer league game.

I know the season's a long way away, but I for one am looking forward to seeing Mr. Robinson in action. I don't consider myself among the many Stephon Marbury haters out there, but I don't think it'll be long before there's a full-blown point guard controversy in Gotham. Robinson's one of those players who changes the pace of the game with his energy, while Marbury has all the skills to be the game's best point guard but doesn't seem capable of consistently making his teammates better. I hope Stephon and backcourt mate Jamal Crawford are busting it this summer, because Nate's gunning for their minutes already.

And speaking of hope, I'm not yet getting carried away about the Knicks here. Even with Larry Brown coaching, I'm not sure this team will be very good. But for the 20 minutes or so a night that Nate's running the show, this team will be something else to watch. And with all the NBA's problems these days, that's almost all you can ask for.


Blogger jimmyrad said...

I like the "throw your beer against the wall" moments. A couple historical ones that come to mind besides MJ would be John Starks leaving his nuts Hakeem's mouth on the baseline dunk (I think it was Hakeem, maybe not) and Michael Vick's 40+ yard TD run against the Vikes in OT. That's a longer play though, so you might need several beers for each juke.

1:19 PM, August 01, 2005  
Blogger jdg said...

Starks' famous dunk was against the Bulls, over Jordan and I think Horace Grant.

12:52 AM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger jimmyrad said...

that sounds much more correct.

12:05 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

It was Jordan and Horace Grant indeed. I once had a dunk very similar to that, but it was on a nerf hoop and there weren't any defenders.

7:06 PM, August 03, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Babylon said...

You think Robinson will see the light of day under LB? History says not, but the Knicks might be bad enough that he'll get a shot.

3:38 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

Just read today that LB is moving Stephon to the 2 (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/story/334249p-285576c.html)

It'll be interesting whether he gives those PG minutes to Nate-Rob. I know Larry hates rookies, but I have this feeling that Robinson will be the exception.

8:45 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Babylon said...

Yeah? Maybe Crawford is the odd-guy out. I love to watch Jamal play, but he's not really a LB kinda guy.

1:53 AM, August 05, 2005  
Blogger The OCC said...

Yeah, a lot's been made of how Stephon and Larry will get along, but the more I think about it, Crawford and LB might have a bigger problem co-existing. Jamal, as exciting as he is, is basically a complete chucker who can't stop taking 3's (which Larry hates). I don't have a lot of respect for the way Larry left the Pistons, but I'm glad Knicks hoops is relevant again. Can't believe I'm having a Knicks conversation in August and I'm actually looking forward to seeing them play.

9:12 AM, August 05, 2005  

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