Nate Robinson has never been shy about his resentment toward Mike D’Antoni and the former Knick divulged some more details on his hate toward his former head coach.
In an episode of Bleacher Report’s “Untold Stories,” Robinson explained that when D’Antoni benched him for 14 consecutive games during the 2009-10 season, he tried to find out why he wasn’t playing anymore but never got an answer from the coach.
“It was tough. People don’t know s—t I used to go through,” he said. “Like I would try to have meetings with him, try to figure out why I wasn’t playing and he just didn’t want to speak to me. He ignored me sometimes…Didn’t even explain it to me.”
Robinson recalled listening to the 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden chant “We want Nate” but D’Antoni still would not budge.
On New Years Day, 2010, the Knicks were scheduled to play the Hawks in Atlanta and he invited his mom to come to the game just to help support him.
“I called my Mom… ‘I need a familiar face, pick-me-up,’” he said. “’I haven’t been playing. Good to have you at the game just to be there. Just to know you are there.’
“The game goes on, first quarter, and coach calls my name and I didn’t move. I just stood there, we’re in the huddle, he’s like ‘Nate!’ I was like, ‘S—t, he ain’t talking to me.’ My teammates are like ‘he calling you fool!’”
Robinson said from there he had a “Waterboy” moment.
“You know how in ‘Waterboy’ they’re [singing] ‘water sucks’ and he’s picturing the coach’s face?” Robinson said. “I was picturing everybody’s face on the team was D’Antoni. I was like, ‘I’m out here. It’s time.’”
Robinson recalled hitting a 3-pointer followed by a fadeaway jumper and knew he had a good feel for the remainder of the game.
“I was like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s on. It’s crackin’,” he said. “We end up going to overtime, come look at the stats, we win the game: 41 points, six or seven rebounds, six or seven assists, a couple steals. Had a helluva game.
“Not gonna lie, I think I cried after that game I was so happy.”
Robinson would get to play in 17 of the next 18 games for the Knicks before he was traded to the Boston Celtics for J.R. Giddens, Eddie House, Henry Walker and a 2014 second-round pick.