NBA Saturday: Nate Robinson Staying Busy
Nate Robinson hasn’t had any trouble staying busy this offseason. The point guard has been on the go for much of the summer and he’s not going to slow down anytime soon. Looking at Robinson’s schedule, it’s hard to believe that this is his time off.
He’s in a boxing training program every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He’s also gradually increasing the intensity of his individual basketball workouts. In his spare time, he’s preparing to launch a brand new website that will allow him to be even more interactive with his fans. While many players are still in relaxation mode, Robinson is working hard and being productive.
“I’m working out in Seattle,” Robinson told HOOPSWORLD in a phone interview. “I always start working out really hard by the beginning of August. By September, I’ll be getting ready for training camp or for whatever I’ll be doing – maybe going overseas or playing football. Whatever it is, I’ll need to be in shape and I’m just getting ready right now.”
Also, add traveling the world to the list of things that Robinson has done this summer. Two weeks ago, he traveled to China and Indonesia, where he served as an ambassador for the game of basketball and created many memories with the locals.
“I visited an orphanage, held a camp for some high school kids and practiced with the Indonesian national team,” Robinson said. “My trip was great. It was a nice little vacation and it felt good to get away from the states for a little bit.”
Now that he’s back, he’s trying to decide how he’ll spend the rest of his summer. Will he tryout for an NFL team? Will he sign overseas? Robinson’s extraordinary athleticism gives him a variety of options.
At this point in time, Robinson seems determined to show the world that he’s serious about football. He was a highly coveted recruit out of high school and played one year of defensive back with the Washington Huskies before giving up the sport for basketball. He also has football in his blood. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a star running back for Washington who earned MVP honors in the 1982 Rose Bowl and 1985 Orange Bowl.
Robinson wants to prove that he has NFL potential and expects to try out for a team in the coming weeks.
“I mean, why not?” Robinson said. “It has always been one of my dreams to play in the NFL and right now, the opportunity is presenting itself so I think it’s pretty much a sign from God. I’m looking forward to being able to try out, having fun and showing the world that, as long as you put your mind to it, you can play any sport you want. Even if you’re a professional in one sport, you can play another too.”
After tweeting back and forth with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll last week, Robinson is more excited than ever to explore his NFL options. With that said, he has yet to try out for the team or even scheduled a date to showcase his talents. If things don’t work out with the Seahawks, Robinson would also be open to playing for the Oakland Raiders or Philadelphia Eagles.
“The Seahawks are my first choice, for sure,” Robinson said. “That’s one of my favorite teams because I’m from Seattle. The next would probably be the Raiders because my dad is from Oakland. I’d love to play for the Raiders too. Then, the Eagles would be my last one because they’re the team that gave my dad a chance back in the day when he played in the NFL.”
If he decides that the NFL isn’t for him, there’s a good chance that Robinson will sign overseas during the lockout. He doesn’t have his eye on any country in particular, but he would like to get back on the court and experience a new culture.
“I just want to play,” Robinson said. “I’m a gym rat and I love the game of basketball. I also want to see the world and play in a new place where I haven’t been before. Whoever wants me the most, that’s probably where I’d end up going.”
There’s also the possibility that Robinson remains at home with his three children. Because the lockout has put his future plans up in the air, he’s spending as much time as he can with his children. While training and traveling have been important to Robinson, his children are his top priority and he can talk about them all day.
“Usually, I would have to leave early and miss when they’re going to school, but now I get to be with them for the whole summer,” Robinson said. “Right now, I’m actually driving to my son’s football practice to bring him some Gatorade. He’s playing in the league for six-year-olds at the place where I first played football as a kid. He’s down there practicing right now and I’m going to go see him play. It’s great.”
Regardless of how Robinson spends the rest of his summer, his journey will be chronicled on StateofNate.com. His new website will allow him to interact with his fans and give them a behind the scenes look at his life.
“My new website is called StateofNate.com or ‘SON’ and it’s really cool,” Robinson said. “I’m going to be talking about all of the stuff I like on there, from sneakers to video games to candy, and show people my everyday life. I’m going to put together a little TV show that’s going to be recorded and put on the website. It’s going to be about all of the things I do. The episodes will be about my life, my workouts, my responsibilities as a father and much more. I really can’t wait for the website to drop.”
Robinson is already one of the most accessible professional athletes, but now his fans will be able to follow his life even closer than before. Good luck keeping up!
Bruce Pearl Weighing His Options: The Texas Legends weren’t exactly subtle in their recruitment of Bruce Pearl. The former University of Tennessee head coach was offered a $500,000 deal, which is unheard of for a D-League head coach, and then aggressively courted on Thursday evening.
On Thursday morning, Pearl met with front office members from the Legends and Mavericks. Shortly after, he was given a tour of their facilities and watched the Legends play a scrimmage against the Belgium national team. Pearl had the opportunity to talk to several players and get a feel for the team.
Later that evening, the Legends hosted a meet and greet with Pearl. The team’s top sponsors were invited along with the local media. Many in attendance expected the team to announce that Pearl had been hired, but when they found out he hadn’t, the confused group started an impromptu “We Want Bruce” chant.
Pearl was impressed with the Legends’ pitch, but ultimately left Frisco without accepting the coaching position. He’s keeping his options open and is expected to make a decision in the coming days.
The Legends’ top competition comes from ESPN, who are offering nearly double what he would make in Texas. Sources close to the situation say that Pearl would be used in a Fran Fraschilla-type role, providing NCAA analysis and possibly NBA Draft coverage as well.
Pearl’s decision will ultimately depend on which route he wants to take. If he accepts the Legends’ offer, it could lead to an NBA gig or return to college basketball. However, he’ll be turning down a significant amount of money to continue coaching and he seems interested in television. He has a tough decision ahead of him, but an announcement one way or the other should come early next week.
Overseas News and Notes: Here are the latest news and notes regarding players heading overseas.
• The Turkish club Anadolu Efes is pursuing Hedo Turkoglu, sources close to the situation confirm. Anadolu Efes already signed Ersan İlyasova and Sasha Vujacic this summer, and has also expressed significant interest in Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans and Patty Mills.
• Tony Gaffney has signed a one-year deal with the German club Telekom Baskets Bonn. Gaffney’s deal includes an NBA-out, but it expires after October. That means he can only opt out if the NBA season starts on time.
• Von Wafer has signed a one-year deal with the Italian club Vanoli Cremona, according to sources. Wafer’s deal will include an NBA-out. He’s an unrestricted free agent and will return to sign with an NBA team once the lockout comes to an end.
• Kevin Palmer has signed a one-year deal with the Japanese club Fukuoka Rizing, according to sources. Palmer’s deal also includes an NBA-out. There’s a good chance Palmer will, at the very least, be on a training camp roster once the lockout ends.
HOOPSWORLD Chats: There is one chat on today’s schedule. Susan Bible, who covers the Oklahoma City Thunder and NBA for HOOPSWORLD, will be taking your questions at 11 a.m. ET. Submit your questions early because this chat fills up fast. As always you can check out our entire upcoming chat schedule here.