Nate Robinson Interested in Re-Signing with Celtics: 'I Feel Wanted Here'
Robinson, who will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his five-year career, said he definitely has interest in re-signing with the Celtics if they want him back.
"Of course,'' Robinson said in an interview Friday with FanHouse, a day after Boston fell 102-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
Even though the 5-foot-9 Robinson's playing time has been erratic, he said he likes the way the Celtics have treated him since he was acquired Feb. 19 from New York.
"I feel wanted here,'' said Robinson, who averaged 6.5 points in 14.7 minutes in 26 Boston regular-season games, but has seen his numbers drop in the postseason to 3.4 points in 6.4 minutes in the 11 games he has played.
"This group of guys, this team, this organization is good for me. They're high class, man. They keep it 100 percent (real) with you. Doc (Rivers, the coach) keeps it 100 percent. He tells you straight forward what he wants. I like that.''
As for New York, where Robinson spent his first 4 ½ seasons, he didn't have as much praise for the Knicks despite playing a lot more for them.
"They treated me good, but at times I felt like they didn't,'' Robinson said. "But it is what it is. Sometimes it's like your mom and your dad. You don't communicate all the time being on the same page. But you move forward. I'm moving forward and not looking back.''
Robinson wasn't specific on what he considered not being treated well. But he did touch upon last summer, when he and forward David Lee, as restricted free agents, were unable to get multi-year contracts from the Knicks because they wanted to save money for this summer to go after free agents, namely Cleveland's LeBron James.
Robinson eventually signed a one-year, $5 million contact and Lee a one-year deal for $7 million. Lee, like Robinson, is unrestricted this summer.
"I'm here now and David, this summer time, he's looking forward to playing on a team that would want him hopefully,'' said Robinson, whose one-year contract status required he approve being traded to Boston. "I wish the best for D. Lee. Me and him came (to New York) as late first-round picks (Robinson going No. 21 and Lee No. 30 in 2005). We were rookies together. Almost five years on the same team ... and then not getting the, I don't want to say, the respect that we deserved. We paid our dues. But some time this summer (a team will be able) to pay homage to us, I guess.''
Other than stating his interest in re-signing with the Celtics, Robinson wouldn't speculate on teams he might look at this summer in free agency. But he stressed what he considers most important.
"I want to be able to play somewhere that somebody wants me,'' Robinson said. "You kind of look at it like being in an orphanage and somebody wants to come and adopt you. So whoever that NBA family that wants me and loves me and they want me for who I am.''
Robinson would figure to be a free-agent risk for any team offering significant money. Would he be the player who averaged 17.2 points for the Knicks last season or the one who this season saw his Knicks average drop to 13.2 in reduced playing time and then his numbers drop even more with the Celtics.
Robinson did step up in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to score 13 points in 13 minutes in a 96-84 win over Orlando that gave the Celtics a 4-2 series win. Robinson also logged 13 minutes in Game 1 against the Lakers but went scoreless.
"This whole season has been a rollercoaster for me,'' Robinson said. "It's kind of been like at an amusement park. You never know what to expect, what curve or what dip. But day to day, it's been fun.''
That's why Robinson, despite his reduced role, has interest in again taking a ride with the Celtics.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson