Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Neither Nate Robinson nor his boss were talking trade rumors on Wednesday.
“We just want to talk about Friday [when the Knicks host Kobe Bryant and the Lakers], so if you want to talk about Friday we can do that but anything else I have nothing to say,” Robinson said after practice.
Said Knicks president Donnie Walsh: “I’m not commenting on trade rumors and that’s what they are.”
The Celtics made an offer for Robinson, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who reported the proposed deal on The Sports Hub. Celtics Hub wrote about it Tuesday.
Citing a person “with close ties” to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, the Daily News reported that the Celtics are interested.
“Doc thinks he can connect with anybody,” the source told the News.
Aaron Goodwin, Robinson’s agent, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Speaking in generalities, Walsh said he was open to trades that would make the Knicks better while simultaneously allowing them cap flexibility in 2010.
“Yeah, that’s my job. We’ll listen to anything anybody has to offer. If something would help, we would do it,” Walsh said.
Goodwin asked Walsh last month to trade Robinson when he was in the midst of a 14-game benching by head coach Mike D’Antoni. Robinson was subsequently fined $25,000 by the NBA.
In his first game back from the 14-game benching, Robinson exploded for 41 points in a victory over Atlanta on New Year’s Day.
On Monday, he dropped 27 points in a win over Detroit and played out of position at point guard for the final quarter along with four big men.
D’Antoni said he went with Robinson because starting point guard Chris Duhon sometimes loses confidence. Duhon failed to score in that game.
“He does, I tell C-Du that a lot,” Robinson said. “I told him, ‘Just be yourself, no matter what. At the end of the day, as long as you’re happy with yourself, you’ll be OK.’ Chris is a great guy. I learned a lot from him. When his confidence is high, it’s like night and day. It has nothing to do with him making mistakes. It’s just confidence within his shot. I told him, ‘You gotta go out and be aggressive.’ Hopefully, he can do that Friday and get back to his normal self.”
The Lakers play at LeBron and Cleveland Thursday night before coming to New York. The Cavaliers beat the Lakers, 102-87, on Christmas Day at the Staples Center, so Robinson hopes the same thing happens this time around.
“Hopefully the Cavaliers put a whooping on them,” Robinson said.
Last year, Kobe dropped 61 points on the Knicks at the Garden and Robinson says the Knicks have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Some nights, some guys can’t miss,” Robinson said. “So we just gotta hope Friday he comes and he misses every shot and we’ll be good.”
NATE LIKES SHAQ’S DUNK IDEA
Robinson said he liked Shaquille O’Neal’s idea of joining Vince Carter and LeBron James in the Dunk Contest and then donating half the money to Haiti.
“That seems like an awesome idea to me,” said Robinson, a two-time Slam Dunk contest winner who will be seeking an unprecedented third title next month in Dallas when he takes on Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace and either Demar DeRozan or Eric Gordon. “For Shaq to say something like that, that would be pretty cool and pretty awesome, kind of like a throwback dunk contest with Vince. Vince can still dunk. He just doesn’t do it. I tease him all the time.”
NOTESDavid Lee, Al Harrington and Jared Jeffries sat out practice because of what Knicks’ PR people called a “recovery day.” The Knicks last played on Monday…Former Nets coach Lawrence Frank was in attendance at practice. Frank recently told me he had no interest in coaching at the college level, but was interested in returning to the NBA.
(Photos courtesy Cleveland.com and LA Times)Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.