How Can Nate Robinson Help The Los Angeles Clippers?

Jan 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson (5) during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson (5) during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

I have always like Nate Robinson‘s game. He is small, but lightning quick and I think that those smaller but athletic point guards are an undervalued asset in the NBA. Plenty of guys like Robinson get overlooked but eventually play a big role on contending teams.

Now the Los Angeles Clippers have signed Robinson to a 10-day contract, following the injury to Jamal Crawford. Doc Rivers recently commented on the Robinson signing, via

“It’s just that we needed another guy and to me he has the most experience,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Saturday. “You know, we’d rather have a 3 or someone like that probably, but when I look at it I don’t really care about positions sometimes. I’d rather get a guy that’s been in the league, can score and has experience.

“I know Nate. I’ve coached him. So I have a comfort there.”

Robinson played for Rivers and the Boston Celtics during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, and was an integral part of the bench in the Celtics 2010 NBA Finals trip.

This move also reunites Robinson with Glen Davis, who also played off the bench on that same 2010 Boston team. Davis and Robinson were an unlikely duo, yet both played well during the run and seem to have a certain chemistry together, both on and off the court.

Who can ever forget their postgame press conference remarks:

Now, that was almost five years ago, and Robinson is now a 30-year-old journeyman guard who was without a team until the recent signing. However, I still think he has something left and can contribute to this team.

Robinson has never been a guy where you sometimes think the moment is too big for him. He loves big moments and big games, and that kind of confidence and aggressiveness is something that is hard to find in a guy being signed to a 10-day contract.

While he has never gotten a chance to be an everyday starter, Robinson has put up good numbers coming off the bench, averaging nearly 18 points and five assists per 36 minutes, while shooting 36 percent from three-point land in his career.

While he has bounced around quite a bit, and at times has been disgruntled with role, he seems to have a good relationship with Doc Rivers, and clearly Doc thinks highly of the diminutive guard.

Robinson has always been a spark plug, an x-factor off the bench. Maybe even an irrational confidence guy, as’s Bill Simmons would say, and Rivers thinks of him in the same way.

Rivers recently told the Los Angeles Times how he planned to use Robinson:

“He a wild card and that’s how we’ll probably use him,” Doc Rivers said. “On a normal night, I probably would have taken him out [Monday], to be honest. But I want him to just come in and he’ll have one of those games where he makes shots and plays great and he’ll have some of these games and I’ll be sitting there [wondering], should I keep him in or not? That’s who he is, that’s who he’s always been.”

That sounds about right, and sounds like exactly the way the Clippers should use Robinson. While it remains to be seen just how long Robinson will remain with the team, for the time being, he will join as yet another unusual personality signed by this franchise.

While this team might be unlikable, the addition of Robinson makes them at least more interesting and enjoyable on the basketball court. He has always been an exciting player with a penchant for both great plays and bonehead mistakes.

Given the other options out there, I think this signing makes a lot of sense for the Clippers, and I look forward to more press conferences featuring Davis and Robinson.

Next: 50 Greatest NBA Players Of The 1980s

More from Hoops Habit