Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson (born May 31, 1984) is an American professional basketball player who is currently with the Golden State Warriors. Robinson is listed at 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m).
Born in Seattle, Robinson played college basketball at the University of Washington in Seattle and was the 21st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. In his professional career, Robinson has been a point guard for the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder and now the Golden State Warriors. Robinson is the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion.
Robinson spent his first 2 years of high school at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle. He moved to Union City, California, where he played for James Logan High School for one year, and then returned to Rainier Beach. At Beach, he excelled in basketball, football, and track. He led his basketball team to a 28–1 record and won the AAA state championship as a senior with University of Louisville star Terrence Williams, USC alumnus Lodrick Stewart, and former University of Kansas player Rodrick Stewart. He averaged 17.9 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals per game as a senior in 2002, and was named the AAA State player of the year in Washington. He led his team to a no. 7 national ranking in USA Today, and was one of the 100 finalists for the McDonald's High School All-America team. Rainier Beach retired Robinson's No. 2 jersey on September 10, 2010.
Also in 2002 he was named the AAA player of the year for football where he totaled over 1,200 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving while scoring 21 touchdowns. And he was a SuperPrep All-American in 2001 and was ranked as the nation's 17th-best player at the athlete position. He set a Washington state record of 13.85 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and was placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and second in the long jump at the 2002 state track meet.
Robinson had a successful collegiate career in which he led the Washington Huskies to two straight NCAA basketball tournament appearances, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance during his junior year. At the end of that season he was named a third-team Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-American
Robinson also played football at the University of Washington. Robinson's college football career is most remembered for his interception in the final minutes of regulation of the 2002 Apple Cup against the Washington State Cougars, who were at the time ranked #3 in the AP poll. With minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Cougars leading by 3 points, Robinson intercepted a pass thrown by Matt Kegel intended for 6'6" Mike Bush. The Huskies scored a field goal on the ensuing possession and won the game in triple overtime. Robinson was the 21st selection of the 2005 NBA Draft, chosen by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to the New York Knicks with Quentin Richardson for Kurt Thomas and the draft rights to second-round pick (54th overall) Dijon Thompson
Robinson played in 72 games his rookie year, starting 26 of them, while averaging 9.3 points and 2.0 assists per game. He had a major breakout performance against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden where he scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Of his 17 points, three came on a game-winning three-pointer at the overtime buzzer over his boyhood idol, Allen Iverson. During the All-Star weekend, Robinson won the 2006 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest, edging Andre Iguodala 141–140 in an unprecedented overtime, although he took 14 attempts to make his final dunk. In his most memorable dunk of the night, he jumped over 1986 champion Spud Webb, and received a perfect 50-point score for the dunk. During the 2005–06 season, Robinson was reportedly involved in physical altercations between teammates Jerome James and Malik Rose in separate incidents. He was at one point considered by Knicks' coach Larry Brown to be demoted to the NBA Development League. He was instead placed on the Inactive List for 10 games between February 24 and March 11.
On December 16, 2006, Robinson was one of the primary participants in the brawl between the Denver Nuggets and the Knicks. His fight with Nuggets guard J. R. Smith landed in the seats, and he was suspended for 10 games as a result.
Robinson competed in the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest to defend his 2006 title, and came in second place after Gerald Green. In the second round, Green's Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce brought out a cardboard cut-out of Robinson to dunk over, but Robinson came out and stood in its place instead, and Green jumped over him to complete the dunk.
On February 14, 2009, Robinson won the 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Competition. During the first round he completed two dunks, the second of which included jumping off Knicks teammate Wilson Chandler, who was on the floor. He finished second in the first round with a score of 87. After the first round, he went into the locker room and changed into a green Knicks jersey with green shorts and green shoes representing Kryptonite (which he called "KryptoNATE"), countering competitor Dwight Howard's Superman theme. In the final round, Robinson, who is only 5 feet 9, jumped over Dwight Howard (6 feet 11 inches) for the slam. Robinson went on to win his second Slam Dunk title with 52% of the fan vote.
Robinson enjoyed his best season in 2008–2009, averaging 17.2 points per game, 4.1 assists per game, and almost 30 minutes per game. On February 23, 2009, Robinson scored 41 points and also had 8 rebounds.
On August 12, 2009, Robinson reported on his Twitter page that he would change his number from number 4 to number 2 for the 2009–10 season. On September 25, 2009, Robinson re-signed with the New York Knicks to a one-year deal.
After a series of disagreements, Mike D'Antoni removed Robinson from the Knicks' rotation for 14 games beginning on December 1, 2009. Robinson's agent, Aaron Goodwin, urged the Knicks to deal his client, or perhaps work out a buy-out with the team. After remaining on the bench for nearly a month, Robinson made his return on January 1, 2010, against the Atlanta Hawks and scored 41 points, off the bench, in the Knicks' victory.
On February 13, 2010, Robinson won the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the first three-time Slam Dunk champion.