Nate Robinson is a three-time dunk champion and a ten year veteran in the NBA. He has had the opportunity to play for eight different teams during his tenure in the league. The Phoenix Suns drafted Nate Robinson with the 21st first pick out of the University Of Washington but opted to trade him and Quentin Richardson to the New York Knicks for Kurt Thomas and Dijon Thompson. Other notable players in that draft include Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, Danny Granger, Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut.
Throughout his career in the league, Nate was considered a role player that came off the bench and gave you a spark in points. He also had the capability to start as well and still give you his best effort on offense like in 2013 during a playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets. Nate put on a show and scored 34 in a triple-overtime victory against Brooklyn scoring 23 of his 34 in the fourth quarter.
Since his final season playing for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015, he has been looking for an opportunity to play in the NBA again. Last year he played overseas for the Guaros de Lara and spent some time in the NBA development league.
The Hype Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with the 3-time Slam Dunk Champion about joining Ice Cube’s Big 3 basketball ball league and his partnership with Gatorade and Intersports called “The Debut.” That will be featured on Twitter later this year.
The Big 3 recently announced that you would be joining the league this summer. Can you tell us how Jermaine O’Neal pitched you the opportunity?
It was not a pitch I was on the fence about playing last year, but I decided to play overseas in the Israeli Basketball Premier League and then the Development League. I still want to play ball, and this gives you an opportunity to be around the game during the summer, and I wanted to give this thing a try. Ice Cube called me and said that my decision to join the Big 3 was a great addition to the brand. Plus, I like the concept of the league and Cube is a fan of the game, and I appreciate him giving people the opportunity. I just want to see this league keep growing you never know if you can get an in-shape Kobe Bryant the possibilities are endless.
Are you using this an opportunity to audition for a possible return to the NBA?
I do not see this as an audition opportunity for me with the NBA. If they want to look at my workout, they will schedule a private. That way they can see what great shape I am in and “know that I can burn up any guard that they put in front of me in the league. Also, they know what they are getting from Nate Robinson. I’m ready to play I just feel that the league is not willing to give me that opportunity. If the NBA uses the Big 3 as a platform for scouting that is something I am okay with. I just want the chance to show I can still perform at the highest level.
Which team in the NBA do think you would make an immediate impact on and why?
I feel that I could come in and make an immediate impact with the Oklahoma City Thunder because when Russell Westbrook goes to the bunch, there would not be a drop off in the offense. I can step in and help with the scoring load off the bench while allowing Russell to rest and prepare for the fourth quarter.
You are a former 3-time Slam Dunk Champion is there anybody that you would like to see in this year’s contest?
Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Donovan Mitchell, and Terrance Ferguson
Do you think Lebron will ever participate in one before he retires?
I doubt if he has not been in one since he left high school back in 2003.
Can you share with us what it was like working with the cast of “Uncle Drew.” Film and what can we expect from your character?
June 29th Uncle Drew will make its debut, and my character Boots does not speak much. Once Uncle Drew decided to pursue his dream in the NBA, the rest of the team went their separate ways and got regular jobs. Boots is quiet throughout the film for the most part and always has a basketball in his hand.
It was announced that you would be calling high school games on Twitter for Gatorade/Intersport’s show called ‘The Debut’ featuring fellow Big 3 member Baron Davis and NBA 2k Analyst Rachel Demita on commentary. Can you share with us how this came about?
Commentating is something that I want to do after basketball, and this opportunity is kind of like an internship that allows is to learn the proper techniques. It is also an opportunity for me to give my opinions and perspective on the games that we will be covering. Eventually, I want to start my podcast like what Gilbert Arenas situation with Complex Media and Out of Bounds.
You are a Seattle native when the Sonics finally return to the city would you be interested in owning a percentage of the team?
Would I? Of course, I would, but would not want just a percentage I want to play for Seattle. After I played, then I would like to own interest in the team. I would like to show what I can offer as an owner and what we expect in our players while giving an opportunity for someone like myself that is hungry and wants to play hard. I want to be a part of building and developing a winning culture.
You are the Co-Founder Nate’s Wings and Waffles what intrigued you to go into the restaurant business and are there any other business ventures you would like to pursue?
It was discussed over little league football with my Co-founder Darren McGill. Someone that we knew asked was there a chicken and waffle spot in town. I responded by ‘I wish there where we tried to get Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, but they do not a franchise.” So, we decided to start our own company, and it has been a great decision. We have had DJs, and other creative individuals to come in and showcase their talents. I’m just trying to pay it forward and us my platform to give opportunities to people in the community.
What is the best advice someone has given you as an athlete and an entrepreneur?
As an athlete, my father used to preach never be satisfied and I feel that is something that I followed my whole life striving for more. Also, as a business owner, tough times never last, but strong-minded people do. The restaurant industry is robust because people can choose to dine somewhere else. So, we always want to provide that hospitality feel. In fact, when we first opened my grandmother was working as host making sure everything ran smoothly, and the customers were taken care of and happy.
What can the fans expect from you in this year’s Big 3 and as a commentator with “The Debut”?
They are going to get a lot of high energy during my commentary and paying homage to the high school greats that came before me. Also, giving my thoughts on how they might have stacked up against the current crop of high schoolers. We will be interacting with the people on twitter and giving Gatorade and Intersport fun and excitement. As for the Big 3 fans, they will be getting somebody, this is ready to play and compete