While appearing on the #WORDSWITHSCOOP Instagram Live series presented by Orox Leather, three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Nate Robinson talked about everything imaginable like the lukewarm NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago back in February.
“The NBA – they don’t like to let us have that creativity because everything is timed,” Nate Robinson tells me.
“The Dunk Contest has to be done at a certain time, they don’t want it to go too longer than – it’s a lot behind the scenes that people don’t understand man. But that is something that they do have to bring back because the creativity side; letting guys you know, venture off and bring in talent and fun things and jumping certain things like, we just have to try and figure out a way to jazz it up. I believe that they need to add – instead of having a Dunk Contest champion and I just saw it on TV… they were doing something like whoever the top blockers are in the league versus the best dunkers. And see who can dunk on each other and block each other. Like, that needs to be a thing. Like who’s the best shot blocker in the league? Okay let’s see who can block the most dunks. Like, you have to make it more entertaining for everybody man, I don’t know. It’s that they have to add something more to it. They have to bring back playing music. Back in the day when I was a kid, they used to play that Dunk Contest participant’s favorite song to get them hyped to dunk. Like, can you imagine that? Guys can bring out certain artists like you’re going to a boxing match and they bring out the artist. You bring out your artist and you can go and make a song, you go out and dunk and do some crazy stuff, like…that would be fire. Let guys bring in their own music and go in and dunk – and then they got to let the Dunk Contest Champions be the judge; myself, Vince Carter, Zach LaVine like, former Dunk Contest champions. We’re tired of just random guys…not random guys; you see what happened with D-Wade picking around like, c’mon bro. That can’ happen. What we say, should go. We’re dunkers. I’m not saying that D-Wade and those guys don’t know dunking, because he’s dunked on plenty of people. But in dunk contest dunking, we should have the vote for the actual champions.”
So who gets the final say so? “The NBA,” said Robinson.
“They control it all! They’re like the government man. Get Adam Silver on the line and let’s chat.”
We also discuss Jamal Crawford.
What team would he fit on? “Definitely the Lakers,” says Robinson.
“They could use him for sure. I mean, having somebody that can come off the bench and give you buckets and get buckets especially when teams go on dry spells where they can’t score or can’t seem to get a good energy, Jamal is one of those guys that can literally start it — I watched him score sixteen consecutive buckets in a row. Not points guys, but sixteen CONSECUTIVE shots!!! That’s hard to do. Every time he’s coming down court, he’s touching it, shooting it and making it! Like, that’s unbelievable. He’s one guy that I idolize watching how he moves, how he scores, how he passes… everything. I’ve been watching Jamal since I was in 8th grade and fell in love with his basketball game and he’s been such a joy to look up to, and I’m glad I had great role models and great peers that shown me the way and gave me confidence that I needed to believe that I can make it as well.”
For the record: Anthony Davis has hinted throughout the NBA season that Crawford would be a nice addition in LA with the Lakers.
“Instant scorer,” Davis told me.
“If we’re looking for a scorer, he’s definitely on that list. He can score at will. He knows the game, very crafty with the ball, so if we’re looking for a scorer, then he’s definitely a guy I can see us going after.”
While on #WORDSWITHSCOOP, Nate Robinson and I also discuss comparisons between Charles Barkley and Zion Williamson.
Barkley has noted that Williamson is not another him. “The kid is more explosive than I am,” Barkley told me in the fall.
“He seems like a great kid too. He’s really explosive, he might want to learn to play basketball at a little lower level.”
Nate Robinson is along that same line of thinking. “Well, Zion is way more athletic than Charles,” he said.
“Charles has more of a complete game. Charles Barkley was nasty bro. He was a killer. Whenever you can get your own show outside of Jordan and certain guys…he was filthy and his shoes were fire. But Chuck, he did it all; he could rebound, he could push the ball, he could score, he was a bigger dude. He was an undersized 4-Man playing the 3 and the 4? He was a beast man. And just for him to even be mentioned with a Charles Barkley, you’re already a legend.”
For the record: Robinson doesn’t think that it is not too early to make the Barkley, Williamson comparisons. “Nah man, it’s not too early,” he said.
“But people are going to do that. Zion is his own man. His own player. He’s – there hasn’t been a Michael Jordan right? But there’s been a Kobe Bryant but there hasn’t been a same Tim Duncan or the same type of power forward; there’s Kevin Garnett, there’s different guys so, Zion’s his own man and he’s his own player so I mean to really compare the two – I mean, you can say it off of their body build, their style but they are two totally different players. Zion has Vince Carter hops. It’s like putting Vince Carter hops on Charles Barkley. That’s what it would look like. That’s what Zion is.”