Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson sat down with WEEI in Boston
recently to talk about how things were going in New York, how he likes being a Celtic so far, and, of course, the Dunk Contest. It wasn’t until the end of the interview that Robinson talked about the event that has given him the majority of his NBA notoriety. (For the record, Robinson says that he had a good relationship with Mike D’Antoni and has enjoyed being in Boston so far.)
When asked whether he has retired from dunk contests, Robinson said the following:
“Yeah, I’m done. I’m taking off my cleats for that. I mean my sneakers for that. It’s cool. I made history. That is something my kids can always go back and say, my dad was the first three-time dunk champion. So it is fun. I’ve been myself dunking a lot as a kid and I fulfilled my dreams and I kept my faith strong. I believed in myself and believed in God and he helped me through all my trials and tribulations.”
When asked if the dunk contest needs to be changed around after the last full-fledged disaster of a contest, Robinson said the following:
“It’s not, you’ve just got to find different guys to make it interesting. You have to get guys that want to do it. You can’t put guys in there that just do it just to do it. You know what I mean?”
As much as the fact that Robinson has won more dunk contests than Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Vince Carter makes me cringe, Nate is exactly right here. The problem with the dunk contest was that the league didn’t make a concerted effort to find guys who really wanted to do the contest and put in the time to come up with exciting dunks. Nate Robinson winning the dunk contest for the third time made this an unavoidable reality. If that leads to better dunk contests in the future, I don’t begrudge Nate for his dunk contest championships.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.