Nate Robinson: From PG to CB?

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Nate Robinson: From PG to CB?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

Nate Robinson is known for his spontaneity, always up for a spur-of-the-moment prank, or pulling off some kind of entertaining scheme (think dunking on Shaquille ONeal during training camp).

But his recent tweets to Pete Carroll, the head coach of his hometown Seattle Seahawks, during the NBA lockout came as no surprise -- football is an undeniable passion of his.

This week the former Boston Celtics guard sent a series of tweets to Carroll including, "@PeteCarroll coach give me a chance and I'll prove it to u WorDaApP the world & all my followers would love to see the outcome lol."

Carroll responded several times (one tweet read: "@nate_robinson we know you have great handles, but the question is: does it translate to DB skills? I kinda think it does...") and told him, "@nate_robinson well then, see you at practice at 1:30. bring your cleats."

Robinson, like many NBA players, also played football in high school. His story took a different turn, though, when he decided to pursue both sports in college at the University of Washington. It was there that he followed in father's footsteps. Jacque Robinson was a tailback for the Huskies and was also named MVP of the Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl during his collegiate career.

After splitting time as a point guard and cornerback, Robinson ultimately decided on basketball and went on to make a name for himself in the NBA. While the fact that he played football in college has been well documented, his passion for the sport is easily overshadowed by the success he has achieved as a high-energy Slam Dunk Champ.

Before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February, I spoke to Robinson and several other members of the Celtics about the influence playing football had on their basketball careers. Many of them smiled as they recalled their proudest pigskin moments. Others laughed as they bragged about the skills they still possess (dont challenge Jermaine ONeals arm). Another attested to being the best player on the team (hint: Glen Davis).

Robinson was different though. He didn't speak of football as if it were just something he did to pass the time growing up or a bragging right he boasted about as an adult. His passion for the sport was very evident as he explained what the game meant to him:

Football is fun. Its a contact sport. Its a different kind of drive than basketball. Its a different kind of feeling, Robinson said to CSNNE.com. Youve got to imagine, we come in here (TD Garden) and we play in front of 15, 20-thousand. You play football, when I was in college, there were 88- 89,000 out there screaming at the top of their lungs. You get to play outside where the elements change the game. Play in the snow, in the rain, in the mud. I get a kick from it.

Theres so much history. You can feel it going down the tunnel, so much history behind the college, the atmosphere. For me it was crazy because my dad played at the same college. I saw a couple of his accolades that were on the wall when he won an Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, he was in the Senior Bowl. That has an effect on you because it gets you fired up.

I miss everything about it. Going to play against other schools, putting on equipment, helmets, wrist bands, tape. Every time I put it on when I played in college, it made me feel like I was playing Pee-Wee Football all over again for the first time. It was just awesome.

I fulfilled my dream by playing both sports. I was happy with that. I knew I couldnt continue to do football but one of my goals was to play, and I did that. I knew I had a love for basketball and I had to leave football alone.

The Seattle Times reported Robinson did not attend that 1:30 practice, but don't be surprised if he doesn't leave football alone for good.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

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Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

After the Clippers were elminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, a disappointed Paul Pierce told ESPN that he was "50-50" about retirement. 

In a video after Portland's Game 6 victory posted on oregonlive.com, the former Celtics captain said his "heart is broken" by another playoff elimination. 

Pierce signed a a three-year, $10 million contract to return home (he grew up in Inglewood, Calif.) and play for his old coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.  He'll be 39 next season and coming off the worst season of his career. Pierce averaged 6.1 points, 36 percent shooting and 18 minutes a game, all career lows.

How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

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How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

WALTHAM, Mass. -- This past season, Isaiah Thomas took a major step forward to becoming more than just a solid NBA player, but one of the game’s best.
 
He knows he won’t stay among the elite for long if he doesn’t make some changes with the most notable being to his diet.
 
“I do not eat good,” Thomas acknowledged following his exit interview this week. “I eat like a young guy, a young guy who got a little bit of money, fast food every day. But I’m definitely going to change.”
 
The change becomes necessary not only in light of how the season ended for him and the Celtics, but also for his long-term goals, which include playing in the NBA until he’s at least 40 years old.
 
“I’m not that old but the greatest players took care of their bodies the best,” Thomas said.
 
Among those cited by Thomas who excelled at taking care of their bodies was former Celtic Ray Allen.
 
But Thomas was quick to add that he won’t go to the lengths that Allen did in maintaining good health.
 
“Because he’s a little crazy with that,” quipped Thomas. “I just want to play at a high level for a long time, like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant. You have to take care of your body. That’s half the battle of performing out there on the floor.
 
Thomas added, “This is a big summer for me to start doing that.”
 
Eating right is just part of the transformation process for Thomas.
 
He’ll also modify is offseason workouts to include some work in the boxing ring with long time friend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
 
“I’m definitely work with him a few times, get my conditioning right, probably train, do some boxing stuff on the side, just to get in that type of shape,” Thomas said. “You get in that type of shape you won’t get tired on the basketball floor. This summer is big for me, transforming my body, getting into the best shape possible and coming back and having another all-star year.”
 
For the Celtics to improve upon this past season, they will need Thomas to continue elevating his play as well as the play of those around him.
 
It is that latter point that was among the many reasons Boston’s season is over. No matter what he did, those around him could not step their game up to a level needed in order to get past the Atlanta Hawks.
 
Chalk it up to another lesson learned for Thomas.
 
“You can’t do it on your own,” Thomas said. “There’s no way you can do it on your own. Nobody can do it on your own; and how hard it is to win playoff games, a playoff series. It’s not easy.”
 
And when you come up short, for Thomas is created an uneasiness that he never wants to experience again.
 
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to not have this feeling again,” he said. “It really hurt me. I’m going to use that as motivation to continue to get better and to work on my flaws and make those into my strengths. I promise you’ll I’ll be back better than ever next year.”