Quotes from Nate Robinson Press Conference

Nate Robinson Press Conference
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Bank of America Arena Media Room; Seattle, Wash.

WASHINGTON SOPHOMORE GUARD Nate Robinson

Opening Remarks:
'As of today I decided to come back to school for another year and pretty much just take flight. To take Husky basketball back to where it needs to be, back up to a winning program like we did last year but even better. Getting the Pac-10 championship and going to the big dance again to try and win it all.'

On whom he made the decision with:
'Pretty much my family. I talked to my coaches, Coach Dollar, Coach Romar. I sat down and talked with my mom, my dad, all last night. Monty, my uncle, my brothers, my sisters, we just all sat down and really talked about the ins and outs of everything and that's how I came to the conclusion to come back to school for another year.'

On the decision-making process:
'It was 50-50 and then it was 60-40 and it was just going back and forth and I was like what do I really want to do? I sat down and really just thought about it and like my mom said I have to be a man and make my own decision. I'm not her little baby anymore. I got to do what's best for me and my future and I think another year of basketball will help me be the best player I can be.'

On talking to St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson:
'I talked to Jameer Nelson when I was at the NBA camp in Chicago and we sat down and talked for like an hour and a half and I just asked him everything about what he did last year, how'd he make his decision. He said he just really thought about it and he was like it's kind of hard knowing that you're good enough and you're better than most all these guys and teams not guaranteeing you're going to be picked in the first round or guaranteeing you're going to be picked at all, and he just sat down and told me make your own decision. He said if he was me he would go back and do it all over again. By him talking to me and telling me that, that kind of gave me confidence in knowing what I wanted to do. By him being the player of the year and him being 5'11', a short guy guaranteed first round now kind of influenced me more into coming back to school.'

On what he needs to improve upon:
'Being more of an all-around player. Showing more point guard leadership skills, finding guys when they're open and taking better shots, doing whatever I've got to do to help my team win.'

On what he heard his chances were:
'They were saying early second, middle, they were saying all around. Everything was floating around but nothing's guaranteed.'

On when he made his final decision:
'About five minutes ago (laughs). It was last night, I sat down and talked to my mom and it was late. I had my grandmother and Monty, they came over and prayed for me. I call them the 'prayer team', they come and pray whenever they feel that something needs to be prayed on.'

On playing in the NBA:
'I was thinking if I ever get drafted I might accidentally ask these guys for an autograph while I'm warming up or something. I've been looking up to these guys for so long I just wanted to play. That's the main thing I was talking to Coach Dollar about. I don't care if I got picked last, I just wanted to go, but it would better my chances by coming back to school and playing another year and showing them that I can be a leader and I can take my team farther and further.'

On if he feared not being drafted:
'I knew in my heart if I left my name in I was going to be drafted by somebody.'

On what teams were saying his draft prospects were:
'Well a lot of teams that were looking at me wanted me to stay in. They were like if you go next year, if you go back to school you have an even better chance. The Sonics said that, the Heat told me that, Memphis, Toronto, I talked to a couple guys that said if you go back you better your chances, period.'


WASHINGTON HEAD COACH Lorenzo Romar

Opening remarks:
'Having kind of gone through the process, I wouldn't say I'm surprised. Pleased that he has made a decision he's comfortable with, I'd probably say I feel that way. It is interesting, we've seen it before, today in today's game kids have an opportunity to do this, they jump at it. Nate had so many different people pulling at him, talking about this thing, but one of the most impressive things to me was in spite of all of it, he went to class, we just got his grades and he did a good job in the classroom. People here were saying he may come out well how's he doing in school? Nate's doing fine in school. He's taking care of business. He did what he was supposed to do. He could have easily not done that, I've seen situations many, many times where kids just quit going to class or don't take it serious but he took it serious which was very impressive to me.'

On Robinson at the NBA pre-draft camp:
'Don't ever count out Nate Robinson. Don't ever say we don't know if Nate Robinson can accomplish this. Don't say that one. I don't know how many NBA people, whether it be general managers or scouts, who we spoke to over this process who were just amazed at the type of player Nate is. And they also almost to a man mentioned about his personality and what a great kid he appeared to be and that when they watch him play you lose all sense of reality when you watch him play and you're kind of focused on what is he going to do next. Because he just captivates crowds. And he captivated the NBA people to where they had to tip their hats to him and say, 'this kid has an NBA future.' So don't ever count him out.'

On when he learned Robinson's decision:
'He had kind of gone back and forth but yesterday was pretty much when we felt he was going to come back.'

On what Robinson needs to improve:
'It continues to come up about point guard. And I don't think it's as much point guard as decision making. Don't put Nate in a box. Just put him in the game, wind him up and just watch. Somehow your team's going to do pretty well. Last year he began to figure out more, and now that he's back in school I think we'll see that he'll improve even more. Some people say 'can he shoot?' Nate is a really good shooter and I think as he's more comfortable people will see that he can really shoot the ball well from the outside. The thing you can't teach is his competitive spirit.'

On Robinson's support:
'Nate's got a lot of support. A lot of family support. His mother is a rock and to have that support system around him is very good. Coach Dollar did a wonderful job with being objective with Nate and I think Coach Dollar helped him a lot in this process.'

On if it was difficult to be impartial:
'I hope to be coaching here for a long time and their might not be another Nate Robinson but there are going to be other players you can go out and get to sustain your program. Nate only goes through this once and there's no way in the world that me and anyone on our staff would try to mislead Nate for our own selfish reasons. He had to do what was best for him and I'll be the first to say when he decided he was going to go test the waters, it caught me off guard. But as I thought about exactly what he was doing, it was the smartest thing he could have ever done. Because those people were able to see him up close for three or four days and see what Nate Robinson was really made of. My biggest concern would have been if he would have gone out and next year not been playing in the NBA. I'm telling you if he was the last player chosen in the draft but we knew he was going to be in that NBA next year, I would have no problem. Because that's what he really wants.'

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