Nate Robinson: Top 5 Moments from 2012-13 Season
As a role player, he averaged 12 points and nearly three assists per game. As a starter, his numbers jumped to 14.8 points and 6.1 assists per outing.
Unfortunately for Bulls fans, Robinson has earned the right to a multi-year deal—one the Bulls may not be able to match.
In the event Mr. Robinson does find another neighborhood to call home next year, here is a look back on a few performances from this season that turned him into a fan favorite. .
5. Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets, Dec. 25, 2012
Nothing says Happy Holidays like watching your favorite team on Christmas Day.
Unfortunately for Nate Robinson and the Bulls, this contest would be one to remember for all the wrong reasons.
While Robinson scored a team-high 27 points and handed out three assists, Houston toppled Chicago 120-97—marking the team's second loss in as many outings.
4. Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Jan. 30, 2013
In the previous two meetings between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee outplayed Chicago in the second half of both games—enabling them to pull out victories each time.
Nate Robinson made sure that would not be the case on this occasion. He scored 16 of his team-high 24 points in the midst of a 20-4 second-quarter run that essentially broke the game open.
During that stretch, Robinson had a three-pointer, a layup and a nice dunk—giving Chicago a huge halftime lead they would never relinquish.
Per ESPN, Robinson had this to say about his monster jam:
My teammates have been teasing me all season, talking about how I'm a three-time slam-dunk champion and I didn't get no dunks. My fans have been asking me when I'm going to dunk again so hopefully they'll get off my back now.
3. Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks, April 11, 2013
Despite the fact the Knicks were boasting a 13-game winning streak with a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, Nate Robinson did not wilt under the pressure.
Robinson led the Bulls with 35 points (including eight in overtime)—scoring from nearly every spot on the floor. He also handed out seven assists.
His performance enabled the Bulls to edge the Knicks 118-111, snapping New York's longest winning streak in nearly 20 seasons.
In addition to that, Robinson's 35 points were the most scored by a Bulls player coming off the bench since Ben Gordon recorded 37 points five seasons earlier.
2. Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets, April 27, 2013
The Chicago Bulls were leading the Brooklyn Nets 2-1 in their first-round playoff series, but it appeared that the Nets were on their way to victory—leading by 14 points late in the fourth quarter.
Chicago was in desperate need of a clutch performance to pull this one out and that is exactly what they received from Nate Robinson.
Not only did Robinson score 34 points in just 33 minutes, he personally helped the Bulls extend a game they should have lost—recording 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Although it would take three overtimes to do so, the Bulls outlasted the Nets 142-134 in one of the most memorable playoff games in franchise history.
Per ESPN, Robinson offered this explanation about his fourth-quarter explosion:
I always think I'm on fire, kind of like the old school game NBA Jam. You make a couple in a row, the rim's on fire. You shoot the ball, the ball's on fire. I feel like that at times—all the time. Whenever I'm in the game, I just play with a lot of confidence. You kind of have to lie to yourself and feel like you can't miss.
While Robinson is often criticized for his shot selection, there is no question that the Bulls would not have won this game if not for him putting the team on his back when it mattered the most.
1. Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat, May 6, 2013
After posting the franchise's first ever Game 7 win on the road over the Brooklyn Nets, the Chicago Bulls were not given much of a chance against the defending champion Miami Heat in the second round.
That is understandable because the Heat had won 12 consecutive games, including a 4-0 sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
In addition to that, both Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich were absent from the lineup—meaning the Bulls were not at full strength by any means.
Despite the odds being against them, Nate Robinson and the Bulls played inspired basketball in Game 1 of this series—enabling them to pull out a 93-86 win.
Not only did Robinson lead the Bulls with 27 points (24 in the second half), he also recorded nine of the team's 20 assists.
Robinson said after the game that he had played on tough teams prior to arriving in Chicago, but there was something special about this group of players, according to ESPN.
That said, it will be interesting to see if management will make an attempt to bring Robinson back to be a integral part of this special group next season.