Nate Robinson happy to be back in Chicago

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
7:53
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Nate Robinson doesn't want to lie. The veteran Denver Nuggets point guard would have loved to play for the Chicago Bulls again this season.

He enjoyed his time in the city and being part of a team he helped lead in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

[+] EnlargeNate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Upon his return to Chicago on Friday, Nuggets guard Nate Robinson received a pregame embrace from Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich.

But Robinson knows the business of basketball, so he wasn't surprised over the summer when the Bulls decided to go in a different direction. However, as Robinson got set to face off against his former team on Friday night here, he couldn't help consider what might have been had he gotten a chance to play with a healthy Derrick Rose.

"It would have been scary," Robinson said. "It definitely would have been scary. But you never know. Anything can happen."

Here are some more of Robinson's thoughts regarding his time with the Bulls:

On being back in Chicago: "This is something special to me just because of the season from last year and what we did. It was a special season, man. A great group of guys, and I miss it. I would be lying if I said that I didn't. The guys over there, they showed me so much love -- the coaching staff, the organization, the fans. I had a hell of a year, and it was a great run."

On not ending up with the Bulls last summer: "This is a business, man. Everybody knew I wanted to come back. They had other things in mind. They signed a great shooter in [Mike] Dunleavy, a good rookie [Tony Snell]; they've got a great team. Plus, they've got D-Rose coming back, so why have Nate Robinson when you can have D-Rose? I know that's been the talk around the league. [Rose]'s back healthy looking good and he's the man. That's how it should be."

On what he remembers about his playoff performance against the Brooklyn Nets. Robinson scored 23 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4 -- a triple-overtime thriller that the Bulls would win after trailing most of the game: "For me, I was just carrying my team and the city on my back. It's a must-win game; I was just in the zone. My teammates were feeding me. The coaches, the fans gave me energy, but I couldn't do it without my teammates; they believed in me. And it just made it easy for me to go out there and have fun. I was just having fun. That's it."

On how often people would talk to him about that game: "All summer. Everywhere I go they say, 'Hell of a game.' Everywhere. 'You brought a different light to the team, energy,' and like a lot of fans [refer to the game on] Twitter, Instagram around the city. I was walking around [Thursday] and they were just like, 'It's good to have you back. We miss you.' That's just great to be missed and to be loved like that. And I just hope it continues."

On the reception he received from Chicago fans during his tenure: "It was great, man. Really. Even more than any other place I've ever been. Here has been the best."

On if he is surprised Rose has been so good throughout the preseason: "He was that good last year, but I told D-Rose, 'Just take your time, bro. Come back when you want. Don't let nobody push you into coming back when they want you to. You are your own investment. You know exactly when you're ready. It shows that he's ready now, and, for me, it's fun to see because my son loves him. My son's like, 'Dad, did you see what D-Rose did?' 'Yes son. I watch TV.' Of course. We play them. My son's birthday is [Saturday]. He's real excited. D-Rose took a picture with him, and D-Rose is a stand-up guy -- one of the best superstars that we have in this league, and it's a treat just to get to watch him play. And tonight, to go against him, is going to be a great competition, and he's going to push me to be as great as I can be."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 3.2 1.6 39.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 10.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.3