Saturday , Mar , 28 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Will New York’s Nate Robinson conquer his split personality?

Robinson seemed to have turned the corner this year. Early on, his infectious, all-out style meshed with D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds to Shoot scheme. The young pro was under consideration for sixth man of the year and the Knicks were competitive. Most importantly, he was shedding the enigma label. Robinson, finally happy and earning regular minutes, was taking fewer bad shots and showing better judgment with the ball. And those nasty confrontations with opponents seemed a thing of the past …


Will New York's Nate Robinson  conquer his split personality?Before every game, New York coach Mike D’Antoni must wonder what Nate Robinson will show?

It could be ‘good Nate’ –the lovable reserve who provides energy and enthusiasm. Or it could be ‘bad Nate’ –the angry combo guard who seems more interested in trash talking than winning.

Such is life when coaching a split personality. Nothing is easy. Or simple.

Robinson seemed to have turned the corner this year. Early on, his infectious, all-out style meshed with D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds to Shoot scheme. The young pro was under consideration for sixth man of the year and the Knicks were competitive.

Most importantly, he was shedding the enigma label. Robinson, finally happy and earning regular minutes, was taking fewer bad shots and showing better judgment with the ball. And those nasty confrontations with opponents seemed a thing of the past.

The bottom line may have been the bottom line. Robinson, a restricted free agent at season’s end, could have been angling for a pay raise. Whatever his motivation, ‘good Nate’ was winning, even capturing the Slam Dunk Contest at All Star Weekend.

Lately, ‘bad Nate’ has been appearing. His numbers are still there, but his brain isn’t. Last night, against New Orleans, he committed a silly backcourt foul with just seconds remaining in the first quarter, got benched in the second quarter, and then ejected for shoving Chris Paul after committing a hard foul on the Hornet in the second half.

Of course, this incident comes after Robinson’s recent confrontation with Rafer ‘Skip to My Lou’ Alston. Luckily, his coach understands.

 "When you’re short and you’re a normal person, he has to have some thing extra sometimes to be in the NBA," D’Antoni said. "He goes over the line. He knows that. We talk about it. He apologizes. But it’s hard to say to tone it down. It’s also something he has to learn to be able to control. He’s trying." (New York Post)

But to reach his full potential, Robinson has to do more than try. No more of his split personality. ‘Good Nate’ must defeat ‘bad Nate’.

What do you think of Robinson? Is he a good player or a bad seed? Get at us on this or anything else and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of iggy1023.