Less than two weeks ago, veteran scoring guard Nate Robinson was making noise about wanting to shift into a second career in the NFL. Evidently, though, he's not quite finished with his first one.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
As first reported last week by European hoops reporter David Pick, Robinson agreed to terms with Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv for the remainder of its season. The deal will pay the 11-year NBA vet somewhere "in the region of $50,000-$60,000 for two months," according to Allon Sinai of the Jerusalem Post.
Fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv — who had struggled to a 9-14 record prior to Robinson's arrival, two games out of a playoff spot but also just two games above relegation from the Israeli Basketball Super League, the country's top flight, to the second-tier National League — were ecstatic over the addition of the three-time NBA Slam Dunk champion, singing and dancing in celebration to greet the flight on which he arrived:
— Hapoel Tel Aviv BC (@HapoelUTA) March 17, 2016
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans welcome former NBA import Nate Robinson. pic.twitter.com/3QuMrZzkeJ
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) March 17, 2016
In his first game with Hapoel Tel Aviv, the 31-year-old Robinson gave fans even more reason to sing his praises, showcasing the combination of athleticism, handle, nose for the rim and long-range shooting accuracy that helped him carve out a successful NBA career:
Robinson scored 25 points with four rebounds and three assists to help Hapoel come back from a 16-point deficit to score a 103-94 win, which he capped with a swaggering flick-of-the-wrist 3-point megabomb:
Nate Robinson, crowned MVP in debut, had a game-high 25 points and Steph Curry bomb. pic.twitter.com/gSlJiZHQyc
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) March 20, 2016
So, yeah, I think Nate's going to be a pretty big hit in Tel Aviv.
Whether Robinson can lead Hapoel to postseason glory remains to be seen, but getting back to playing professional basketball doesn't mean he's given up on his plan to give the gridiron a go:
Thus far, the former University of Washington cornerback hasn't found any National Football League squads willing to give him a look, but there's still plenty of time before NFL training camps ... and, along with it, plenty of time for Nate to become the kind of international sensation. All he needs to do is keep shooting and scoring; somehow, we imagine Nate's just fine with that arrangement.
More NBA coverage:
- - - - - - -