Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Nate Robinson played his first five NBA seasons with the New York Knicks.
Speaking on Tuesday with SNY Insider Ian Begley, Robinson gave his take on the current state of the team, including the players they couldn't land and the one that they have brought in.
When asked if he could see a free agent choosing the Nets over the Knicks during his tenure in New York, Robinson said he'd never do it.
"Anything can happen, man, honestly. Guys are going to choose where they want to go. Me personally I would never choose any team over the New York Knicks," Robinson said in an interview to promote his charity kickball tournament this weekend. "I had a great opportunity, an awesome time here in New York. It was great and I don't understand how guys can pass up on it.
"Hopefully, James Dolan, you've got to figure out something, man. You've got to land a big name. But it's pretty cool: you've got RJ Barrett coming in, a rookie that's going to help the team out a lot. And you've got to build from there."
Despite missing on players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks still managed to be aggressive on the free agent market, adding Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, and now Marcus Morris, among others.
Robinson, whose agent once requested a trade from the Knicks for his client amid a lack of playing time, likes the overall direction the team is heading in.
"They're building their team as a real team. Young guys, Julius Randle a hard worker, I love his game. I've been watching him since high school as well so it's just pretty cool to get kind of the right fit type of guys in here," Robinson said. "Really young, a young core of the team. And I think if they can just continue to work and gel together as a unit, I think they'll be OK. The East is wide open. A lot of guys are going out West, so they've just got to take advantage, jump on teams early in the season so they don't got to do it later and I think they'll be alright."
Robinson is still playing the game, suiting up with the Tri-State team in the Big3, who will take on the Triplets team at Barclays Center this Sunday.
Robinson is also hosting a celebrity kickball game this Saturday at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, N.J. The proceeds will benefit the Father English Community Center and Boys and Girls Clubs in Clifton, N.J., Wayne, N.J. and Patterson, N.J.
"I wanted to give back to some kids and change the game," Robinson said. "Especially in a place like New York City, somewhere where I started my career. It's something that we want to do every year. I just want everybody to enjoy themselves and take it back to when we were kids. When we started, we were just having fun."
Here are some of Robinson's thoughts on various NBA topics ...
On what has to change for the Knicks to land top free agents: "Honestly, I just think that the young guys have to gel together and figure it out early. And the more wins they get, I guess (players) really want to be a part of New York City basketball. They just have to get the opportunity to show what they can do against some of the great teams are playing in the league right now and I think they'll be fine. Me personally, I love the fact that not too many big names came to the Knicks because now you get a chance to, one of those guys on the team can blossom to be a big name. It's fun. It's going to be challenging. But it's basketball, something they've been doing their whole lives. So they're going to be alright."
On fellow Seattle native and Knicks guard Allonzo Trier: "Hey, New York Knicks, just do me a favor: can you please start my man? Seriously. He's earned, coach he's earned it. He's played great basketball for you coming off the bench, but he can do so much more. I've been watching this kid since he was a young guy, 7-8 years old, playing in Seattle, him growing up in high school in a different, going to Arizona and now playing in the NBA. It's pretty cool man….. I wish the best for him. He plays hard and he;s going to be a treat for the New York fans."
On if he thinks Carmelo Anthony should be in the NBA: "He should be. There's no reason why Melo should be at home. I think that it's unfortunate and it sucks. Because there's so many fans, including myself, of Melo. I love his game, I love what he brings to the game. And I just hope that a team gives him an opportunity to show, really gives him a chance to show that he can still help a team, be a good veteran, come in and get points and just play hard. Just give him a chance, man. I don't think he had a fair shake toward the end."
On if his BIG3 teammate, Amar'e Stoudemire, can still play in the NBA: "I know he can play. He has a great motor. He's still got that jump shot, he probably is not the strongest guy but outside he hold his own all day He has the wisdom, he knows how to play basketball. And he loves basketball."