You decide (via the NY Daily News, who put the story of my beloved Sandra Bullock’s cheating husband on the front page this morning. I told you, Sandra! If it weren’t for the restraining order, you’d realize that what we both has been right in front of us all along!):
Lil’ Him wasn’t honoring his former coach Wednesday night as much as he was taunting him. With Boston building a 27-point third-quarter lead over the Knicks, Robinson twice made it a point to show that he was enjoying D’Antoni’s misery.
First of all, I hate the nickname Lil’ Him or L’il Him or, really, Lil’ anything. Second, I’m not totally anti-Nate here. In general, it drives me crazy when fringe NBA players carry on about meaningless accomplishments, and scoring 8 points in a blowout win against a horrible team fits the definition of “meaningless.”
But Mike D’Antoni, a fantastic coach and a nice guy, has for two years now yanked players in and out of his rotation on what sometimes seems to be his personal whim. He banished Stephon Marbury only to ask him to play—and perhaps even start—when injuries decimated New York’s back court in November 2008. Marbury said no. He benched Nate Robinson for 14 games, then gave him playing time again, then talked about starting him and then benched him again. Now he’s on the Celtics. Chris Duhon went from starting and playing 30 minutes a game to being out of the rotation to being back in the rotation whenever D’Antoni tires of watching Sergio Rodriguez play “defense.”
This is not all on D’Antoni. Marbury’s a loon and had become a $20 million no-defense distraction. Robinson acted the buffoon, drew attention to himself at the expense of the team and played recklessly at times. Duhon, I’m sorry to say, stinks.
Still: It’s not hard to understand why Robinson would hold a grudge against D’Antoni.
Was this really the appropriate circumstance in which to express that grudge?