Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
N8 will w8 it out
Nate Robinson wants to remain a Knick, even though the team appears to be looking at several alternatives to having him return as the third guard in Mike D'Antoni's rotation. Robinson was present for a phone conversation with his agents and Donnie Walsh on Wednesday and understands that the Knicks are in hot pursuit of restricted free agent Ramon Sessions.
And if the Knicks land Sessions -- it seems inevitable -- than Robinson is aware he would likely be the odd man out in the equation.
One of Robinson's confidants told me that the popular 5-9 guard "made it clear to Donnie and the organization that he wants to be there" and that his stance right now is to "wait patiently while they sort through whatever they need to."
David Lee a few weeks ago wasn't as content with remaining an unsigned restricted free agent this deep into the offseason. Lee said he was "frustrated" with the lack of progress and acknowledged it was time for his agent to strongly consider alternatives, which would mean sign-and-trade scenarios.
Robinson doesn't sound ready to push that angle yet, though when the time comes he may have an easier time finding a S&T deal because his asking price is considerably lower than Lee's number.
He's showing some serious loyalty here and he's also showing a lot of humility. You would think after seeing the team court Jason Kidd and Andre Miller, invite Jamaal Tinsley in for a visit, put in a waiver bid for Jason Williams and bring him in for a workout and then target another restricted free agent in Sessions, that Robinson, who has yet to get an offer from the Knicks, would have good reason to feel jilted and prefer to go where he was wanted. But Robinson maintains his preference is to stay in New York, with the Knicks, in the system that helped him produce a career-best season.
Clearly, it seems to the Knicks that Robinson is insurance in case all else fails and there are no better options out there. We've explained why in a previous post.
... his effervescent (and often grating) personality was also an annoyance. No one puts in more work than Robinson, who on practice days often went back to the gym at night to work on his shooting. But the concern is that as much as he loves to play and is passionate about the game, he also was seen and heard cracking jokes immediately after losses and had a class-clown persona that disrupted the focus of the team.
So if this poker table stare-down with Sessions and his agent backfires (there's reason to believe the Knicks want him enough to do what it takes) the Knicks can always fall-back, baby, with a one-year deal with Robinson and then come next summer renounce his Bird Rights so his cap hold comes off the 2010 ledger. It would be just as if they did a one-year rental with Tinsley or Williams.
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Speaking of 2010, TNT's David Aldridge -- who is still very much an old school reporter and journalist even as he has become a TV personality for TNT -- published a conversation he had with LeBron James for NBA.com. In the story, which covered LeBron's widely-criticized decision not to shake hands after being eliminated by the Magic to the infamous stolen video of him being dunked on by Joe Crawford's little brother, James shows exactly why he gets it and exactly why the Knicks desperately need this type of a personality in New York.
It takes a special star athlete to deftly handle the media crush of New York (see: Jeter, Derek) and make it work for you. James puts this ability on display by acknowledging that, while he does not regret blowing off the post-game handshakes, he does admit to Aldridge that he was wrong to blow off the post-game media responsibilities:
"Looking back on it, without you guys, honestly ... there's really no, there's no LeBron, there's no Dwyane Wade, there's no Tiger Woods, there's no Peyton Manning and the rest of these guys that do the things and (are) seen every day."
This quote should be in every media training session around the NBA this fall.