Nate Robinson says he almost broke his neck in celebration fail with Paul Pierce
Former NBA guard Nate Robinson has plenty of anecdotes from his time in the league, having played for eight teams over 11 years as a pro. One of his favorites? The time former Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce hit a game-winning shot against the New York Knicks, as Robinson had a near-death experience, trying to jump on Pierce’s back in celebration, as Pierce ran away and the 5-foot-9 dynamo scorpioned into the floor.
“That was the day I died and came back to life,” Robinson joked to Nicole Yang of Boston.com. “I literally almost broke my neck. I was trying to get the piggyback ride from Paul, but he kept running. That was a pretty cool picture though. Somebody got a picture of me falling on the ground, Ray Allen looking at me all crazy, Paul Pierce doing some superman thing, and KG like bowing to the crowd. It’s a pretty epic picture.”
Besides this fun, yet nearly excruciating memory with Pierce, Robinson made the most of his one-year tenure with the Celtics by following Ray Allen, which paved the way for the latter part of his career.
“I wanted to try to take something from his game and implement it in mine,” Robinson said of Allen. “Watching his work ethic, getting shots up, running on the treadmill, I just took the hard work and dedication he put into the game and put it in mine.”
“When I saw him on the treadmill, I would get on the treadmill and run with him. Then we’d go get shots up. He would help me with my jump shot, dips, stuff like that. He was always a good teammate. I out-shot him a couple times, too. Nobody knows, but I held my own against one of the best shooters in the world.”
While his time with the Celtics was short-lived, he followed them with important stints with Golden State, Chicago, and Denver — scoring in double figures for those three straight years before his career dwindled down.