Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson had his jersey retired at Rainier Beach High School on Friday morning.
Think he broke down and cried?
"I'm not gonna cry," said Robinson during his nearly ten minute speech (see video below from King5.com). "I'm not gonna cry. I gotta man up, gotta man up."
Also in attendance was Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford, whose jersey is already retired at Rainier Beach and played with Robinson on the New York Knicks as the first high school teammates to become NBA teammates.
His mother -- who works at Cleveland High School -- and best friend from high school, Tyrone Shephard, who played at Eastern Utah were also in attendance. Of course, Hikeem Stewart, who recently committed to the University of Washington, also got a shout out as the next in line from a Seattle school to play Division I.
Aside from the humorous hard work narrative that included looking at Tyrone's paper, the way in which this basketball community has developed-- from Crawford returning from college to sponsor study halls to putting Robinson up for two months when they played on the Knicks together -- is always interesting to hear more about. One thing that's for sure is that Robinson certainly hasn't lost touch with his roots and, regardless of whether he was actually going to cry or just warming up the joke machine, it's hard to think he wasn't being genuine.
When so many people in the public eye seeming so distant, it's actually refreshing to see that the guys from Seattle are not only relatively accessible, but also authentically appreciative of the people and places who make him who he is as a person.