Even when Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson spoke about the importance of staying focused on education during his jersey retirement ceremony at Rainier Beach High School, he joked how his agent has to put up with him and how he would, er, borrow his friend’s paper to help get his homework done.
Part of what makes Robinson “Nate Robinson” is the jovial entertainment he provides.
Yet despite us focusing on Robinson-as-entertainer here in this thread, Celtics coach Doc Rivers notes that he’s learned how to save the entertainment for water breaks and separate that from the business of NBA practice, as described by Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.
Robinson says he understands exactly what Rivers is looking for and credits the playoff experience with teaching him to be a better professional.
“When it’s practice time, I want to focus on practice,” said Robinson. “When we have our breaks, we can clown around and do our thing. That’s something I’m improving on, just getting more mature. That comes with time. I’m 26 years old and I’m not getting any younger.”
It seems from listening to Robinson talk that he’s always had people around to help him temper some of his clowning around, whether that be the presence of his mother or Rainier Beach teammate Jamal Crawford. But as he says, he’s not getting any younger and the best thing for his career – if he wants to be a contributor on a winning team – is this process of figuring out how and when to turn it on and off.