First impressions don't always mean everything so don't make too much of Nate Robinson's first game as a Celtic, writes Chris Forsberg. Story
Robinson -- acquired last Thursday along with forward Marcus Landry for Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and a future conditional second-round pick -- said he learned a lot about himself when he was benched in New York.
When he met the media a few hours before his first game with the Celtics, he realized how that difficult, 14-game non-playing experience may have actually worked out for the best.
"A guy like myself sitting for a whole month. Teams see it and say, 'We can use him,'" Robinson said about two hours before his newest team beat his old one Tuesday night. "I think it made me stronger and made me believe you can't take this game for granted. This is all I know. This is basketball. I'm not going to let anybody take the game away from me."
Robinson, maybe best known as the NBA's "Dunk Champion," is in his fifth season, averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists per game this season. He comes to a Celtics team looking to add speed and a spark for it's aging stars -- Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
Nate Robinson, right, and Marcus Landry were introduced during a pregame news conference Tuesday.
"This a great opportunity for both of us, to be a part of a great historic team," Robinson said. "There's a history. It's overwhelming to be part of franchise that's accustomed to winning."
The three-time slam dunk champ was often a spark off the Knicks' bench, but he fell out of favor with coach Mike D'Antoni and ended up sitting.
He has no idea why things soured in New York.
"I honestly don't know," he said. "I tried to do everything coach asked, but it obviously wasn't good enough. I wasn't going to quit trying. If we don't see eye to eye, I was going to do everything I can to try and help my team win. This is definitely a plus. I'm ready to play ball."
He said he was told by Boston coach Doc Rivers to just go out and play like he's used to when things were good.
"Just come in and be Nate," Robinson said. "I don't want to change. Just be me, learn from the best and come in and be ready to play."
Landry is just glad to be with a player he grew up idolizing.
"It obviously means a whole lot to me, being able to play with some guys I looked up to -- like Ray Allen," he said. "I grew up in Milwaukee and watched him my whole life. Now being able to play with him is a great opportunity."