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Everyone loves the little guy.
Nate Robinson spent his early years in the NBA with the New York Knicks, becoming a fan favorite on a franchise in disarray. He arrived at the height of the Isiah Thomas era, a rookie in 2005-06 playing alongside the likes of Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Steve Francis and Penny Hardaway.
As the roster was purged of the riff raff, Robinson took on a major role with the team, but his boom or bust style of play eventually led to him being traded to the rival Boston Celtics.
Unfortunately for the three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, the C's rotation was set, so he sat and sat and sat. He was more mascot than difference maker for most of the season.
Then Doc Rivers called his number—in the NBA Finals.
He had already had a few key contributions in the playoffs, but in Game 4 of the championship round, both he and Glen Davis got some extended minutes, combined for 30 points and helped the Celtics charge to victory.
For a while, it looked like that would be Nate-Rob's last hurrah as he bounced around from Oklahoma City to Golden State to Chicago. He had become bench fodder—good enough for a small, short-term contract, but nobody that any team would want as a major cog in its rotation.
But with Derrick Rose hurt, Rip Hamilton falling apart and few other options for head coach Tom Thibodeau, Robinson once again forced his way into the mix, playing more minutes this season for Chicago than he had for any team since his New York days.
It was a nice year for him, but ultimately not that memorable. Then, the "Nate Robinson Game" happened. With his team trailing by double figures and less than six minutes to play in Game 4 vs. the Nets, the Bulls looked to be dead in the water.
Robinson had other ideas, scoring 23 fourth-quarter points in every conceivable way. It was the type of quarter that fans would expect from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant.
But from Nate Robinson? Unreal.
His heroics forced overtime, and the Bulls eventually won a triple-overtime thriller to take a 3-1 series lead over the favored Brooklyn Nets. A few games later, they would advance to the second round.