Even Mike D'Antoni, the NBA's coaching god of fun, sometimes has enough of Nate Robinson's antics. Newsday's reporting that the Knicks' coach wants Robinson to tone down some of the celebrating, showboating, and overall exuberance that makes him a fan favorite. Says the article:
When he does take the floor [sic--D'Antoni's not taking the floor!], D'Antoni would like to see him play a little more team-first ball than he did with the bum ankle in the second half of Saturday's 120-115 loss to the Heat in Miami.
And it probably wouldn't hurt Robinson to save a little of the "look-at-me" showmanship for the next slam dunk contest. It's a fine line, and Robinson may have been on the wrong side of it in Miami...
[Playing under control] is one thing that's hard for him because he can get a shot anytime he wants, he can be explosive anytime he wants, but at the same time, he has to play within a team concept. It's a fine line, and I have no problem with that. Sometimes he goes too far one way or too far the other way.
If you visit here regularly, you know that we love Robinson for being a one-man circus. But we also think his game benefits from that showmanship. He feeds off of it the the way Gary Payton fed off of talking shit.
That said, it's pretty remarkable when the game's iconic laissez-faire coach--in terms of shot selection, if not theatrics--thinks you need to tone it down. It's becoming more and more apparent that Nate Robinson missed out on his true calling when the XFL--the football league run by WWE ownder Vince McMahon--folded. He Hate Me's got nothing on Nate when it comes to crowd-pleasing.
Maybe McMahon could buy an NBA franchise. David Stern wouldn't be too excited about it, but if he's going to let Aubrey McClendon into the fold, then he basically can't reject anyone this side of Bernie Madoff. Until then, though, Nate under D'Antoni is as good as it's gonna get, which is more than good enough for us.