Nuggets’ Nate Robinson on NBA referees: ‘They hate me’
Nuggets guard Nate Robinson tends to provide his own in-game commentary. He can be seen chattering away on the court, whether to teammates, to opponents, to referees or to no one in particular. Robinson just talks; it’s as elemental to his game as the frequent pull-up jumpers or waterbug quicks, all of which wraps up in a way as to make him one the more entertaining characters in the league.
Naturally, some parties take better to Robinson’s gabbing than others, with many of the league’s officiating crews not enjoying the constant noise at all. As a result, Robinson tends to pick up his share of technical fouls — most often for jawing on the subject of some foul call or non-call, be the transgression real or imagined.
Yet if you ask Robinson, he’s the real victim in all of this, per Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post:
[Nuggets coach Brian] Shaw said, “I’m going to have to talk to him about controlling his emotions. It’s almost like he has a target on his back, and the referees are just not going to tolerate him saying anything to them at all.”
…Robinson smirked when talking about it.
“They hate me, they hate me,” he said. “I don’t know why, but it is what it is. I already know I’ve got the target on my back, but I’ll play through it; I don’t care. I really don’t. It doesn’t bother me none. If I get a call, I get a call. If I don’t, I don’t. If I get a tech, hopefully it’s not in the fourth quarter. Hopefully I don’t get any more. But I know I will. It’s nothing new for me.”
Nothing new indeed. Last season, Robinson tied for 11th in the league with 11 technicals despite averaging a mere 25.3 minutes per game. Playing dramatically less than that in previous seasons helped keep Robinson off the technical-foul leaderboards, though he characteristically has racked up technicals on a per-minute basis. Given Robinson’s expressiveness, that’s not at all surprising. Nor, for that matter, is the fact that Robinson sees himself as an officiating target. Nothing makes for better fuel for technical fouls than a pronounced victim complex.