Before last night, the most playoff action Nate Robinson had seen this season was the time he got elbowed by a teammate while diving for a loose ball in pregame warmups. A classic NateRob moment, to be sure, but not the kind of thing that makes any sort of mark on things that actually matter.
But in last night’s Thunder blowout, Lil’ Nate finally got some burn, notching four minutes of garbage time. And as it turns out, it only took four minutes for Nate Robinson to tick everybody off with his Nate Robinson antics, most notably that three-pointer/arm-flapping hybrid you see in the video up top.
As you can imagine, those manly men of “Inside the NBA” were the most annoyed. From the Oklahoman:
“For me, Oklahoma City did a little too much celebrating the last couple minutes,” McHale said. “Lionel Hollins will show them the tape, and the Memphis Grizzlies will win Game 6 back home at the Mailbox. The big fellows will be upset.”
Barkley said he would have taken a hard foul when the Thunder kept firing 3-point shots late in the game.
“I’m going to take a guy into the stands,” he said, “and I’m going to make it look like an accident.”
These TV bros weren’t the only people who were upset. According to The Oklahoman’s beat reporter, Darnell Mayberry, the Thunder’s coaching staff also wasn’t very happy with Nate Dogg’s three-point bonanza, making this the seven billionth time that the little fella has angered a coaching staff by shooting when he shouldn’t.
It’s understandable why TV guys would be mad — and coaches too, considering an opponent will use anything possible to fire up their team and a goofball like Nately-Nate messing around during a blowout can serve as sufficient bulletin board material in the right hands — but it’s also kind of stupid. Sure, it’s not the keeping with decorum, but it’s also not the worst thing in the world. I have a hard time believing what Kevin McHale is arguing, that the Thunder having a good time in a big win would be the reason they lose their next game. Oklahoma City is a young team, they have fun when they’re playing and they were taking open shots. If the Grizzlies wanted to stop that, they should play defense, not take a stupid foul that could get somebody suspended for the next game.
Besides, it’s Nate Robinson we’re talking about here. He’s known for two things: dunking and doing stupid stuff. Getting mad at him for acting a fool is like getting mad at a cat for drinking the water you left on the counter. What else do you expect?