As of this moment, Robinson has almost 935,000 followers and has tweeted more than 14,000 times. A lot can come out in 14,000 tweets, as we know all too well. And a lot has.
His response? Well blocking the Miami Heat’s LeBron James in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, of course.
— Nate Robinson (@nate_robinson) August 21, 2013
The play in question came late in the third quarter with the Chicago Bulls up two. Robinson had just missed a shot, Mario Chalmers grabbed the rebound off a Tyson Chandler-esque tip from Dwyane Wade, fired the ball to LeBron and he was off to races in transition. And you know what happens when LeBron gets out on the break.
Dunks happen. Alley-oops happen. Posters—they happen. But Robinson had other ideas.
LeBron went right at Marco Belinelli and Robinson, bringing the ball from the strong side of the floor into the heart of the paint. He elevated, and just went it looked like he was about to put the ball in with his left hand, Robinson smacked it away cleanly.
What Robinson did was astounding for obvious reasons. Not only is he 5’9″ and LeBron 6’8″, giving The King almost a full foot’s worth of an advantage, but this was The Chosen One we are talking about. Defenders don’t block him; they get slammed on. Yet here was Robinson, not known for his defense, taking away what should have been an easy two. Incredible.
I myself, however, am surprised Robinson chose this moment. He’s also the proud owner of three slam dunk championships, countless in-game jams and scoring brigades. Hell, I could think of numerous blocks that could even be classified as better.
There was this one on the 7’6″ Yao Ming in 2006:
And this stuff on Shaquille O’Neal in 2010:
Perhaps “better” would be the wrong word to describe each of those two, but they certainly rival his block on LeBron. Maybe his most recent block party was so special because the moment is still fresh, came while he was in Chicago and at the expense of the world’s greatest player. Or maybe it was just that—better.
After all, if you asked me who would be more difficult to block, Yao, a 37-year-old Shaq or a bulldozing LeBron, I’d say the latter. So, there you have it. I talked myself into it. Robinson’s most memorable NBA moment most definitely should be considered his thwarting of LeBron’s fast-break attempt. It was that impressive.
More importantly, though, here’s to hoping that Robinson isn’t done bestowing these terrific highlights upon us. Dunks and drained treys are awesome; watching the tiny, albeit overwhelmingly athletic, Robinson rise up and reject some of the most heralded talents of all-time is awesome-er.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.