Photo credit: Getty Images
Updated: 10:45 p.m.
Former Washington star Nate Robinson (above, No. 4) will join a small UW fraternity when the NBA Finals begins tomorrow. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound backup guard for the Boston Celtics is one of six ex-Huskies to make it to the Finals.
The group includes:
— James Edwards won three NBA titles, two with Detroit in 1989 and ’90 and one with Chicago in ’96.
— Charles Dudley won a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 1975.
— Todd MacCulloch made two Finals appearances in 2001 and ’02 with Philadelphia and New Jersey respectively.
— Detlef Schrempf made one trip to the championship series with the Sonics in 1996.
— Lars Hansen was on the Sonics roster when Seattle captured the 1979 NBA crown.
Before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Robinson had been an afterthought in the NBA playoffs. He was given mop-up duty in blowout defeats and lopsided wins, but rarely saw time on the court when it mattered until last Friday’s game against Orlando.
That’s when Robinson spelled starter Rajon Rondo and briefly took over the game in the second quarter to help the Celtics to a 96-84 series-clinching win.
In 8 minutes 46 seconds, Robinson scored 13 points while also delivering an assist, making a steal and playing solid defense against Jameer Nelson and Jason Williams.
“Nate is not in our rotation right now, but he’ll win a playoff game for us. There will be a game where we’re flat, and we’re going to need somebody to come in and make something happen, and Nate will do that. — Boston coach Doc Rivers
In a recent story, Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn, a former Seattle Post-Intellgencier reporter, wrote about Robinson’s struggles after the midseason trade from New York where he could freelance in Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense when he wasn’t relegated to the bench.
Washburn wrote: “Conforming to Boston’s system was eerily like a public school kid adjusting to private school. He didn’t favor the dress code or the authority.”
Robinson’s Game 6 heroics received praise from several NBA analysts, including TNT’s Charles Barkley.
“I want to give a shout out to Nate Robinson,” Barkley said. “I heard those guys tell me he’s been going in there two hours before the game and working hard. That’s a pro move, when you’re not getting to play and when you finally get your number called you go out and play. Shout out to Nate.”