How Ex-Celtics HC Doc Rivers cost Nate Robinson $1.5 million

Nate Robinson reveals how he missed out on a big payday due to Doc Rivers, which he insinuates may or may not have been malicious

In a stunning revelation, via The OGs podcast, that shines a light on the often unseen struggles professional athletes face, former NBA player Nate Robinson opened up about a painful moment in his career that cost him a whopping $1.5 million. The incident, which unfolded under the watch of then-Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, underscores the complexities and harsh realities of professional sports contracts and the impact of coaching decisions on players’ lives and careers.

Doc Rviers Nate Robinson

Robinson, a dynamic guard known for his incredible athleticism and the distinction of being a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, detailed the situation in a candid interview. He explained that his contract with the Celtics included a clause that would award him $1.5 million if he played a certain number of games. However, he found himself one game short of meeting this condition when Rivers decided not to play him, a decision that ultimately cost Robinson the bonus.

“I had it in my contract where I made like $2 million, it’s like 1.5 or something like that if I played a certain amount of games. Doc River gives me a DNP the game where I needed one more game to get $1.5 million, and all I had to do was go in the game,” Robinson shared, revealing his frustration and disbelief over the situation. “And before the game I told KG, I told the team, and they were like man what you gonna do, because you know the real me wanted to just go sub in and just say sub, but you know they was telling me Nate you know, like you want to play in this league a long time, you got to be professional.”

The incident raises questions about the motives behind Rivers’ decision. Was it purely a basketball-related choice, or were there other factors at play, possibly including directives from the Celtics’ front office? Robinson’s subsequent conversation with his agent reflects the ambiguity and suspicion surrounding the event. “So after the game goes, I call my agent and I told him I think he did that on purpose bro, and he was like well we don’t have no proof that he did. And I was like bro, I come from the Knicks, I was just playing and then I don’t play that’s a clear sign. Why would he give me a DNP for? I’m not hurt, I’m ready to go, like what was  the reason and I never even asked him but I know he did that s–t on purpose I know it.” Robinson recounted, expressing his conviction that Rivers’ decision was intentional.

This event is particularly poignant considering Robinson’s role on the Celtics team. Acquired to serve as a backup to Rajon Rondo, Robinson played 26 games for the Celtics, averaging 14.7 minutes per game. Despite his limited playing time, he was a part of the team’s journey to the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010, showcasing his talent on one of basketball’s biggest stages.

Beyond the immediate financial implications, Robinson’s story is a testament to the challenges and adversities professional athletes often face, many of which remain hidden from public view. The incident with Rivers is a stark reminder of the business side of professional sports, where decisions can have profound personal and financial impacts on players.

Nate Robinson’s Health Issues

Nate Robinson balling

Adding a layer of complexity to Robinson’s narrative is his recent battle with kidney failure. Nearly two years after revealing his diagnosis, Robinson spoke openly about the severity of his condition and the dire consequences of not receiving treatment. “‘I know that I don’t have long if I can’t get a kidney,’ Robinson exclusively told Mail Sport. ‘I know I’m not going to have long to live. So I just want to make the best of it as much as I can,” he stated, shedding light on the critical nature of his health struggles.

Robinson’s courage in speaking about his kidney failure and the impact of dialysis on his life is a powerful call to action. It highlights the importance of health awareness, the challenges of managing chronic conditions, and the need for support and solidarity among those affected. By sharing his story, Robinson aims to be a voice for others dealing with similar health issues, advocating for awareness and collective action in the face of kidney disease.

Nate Robinson’s journey, marked by breathtaking highs and profound lows, offers a sobering glimpse into the life of a professional athlete. From the exhilaration of NBA championships and dunk contests to the heartbreak of missed opportunities and health battles, his story is a reminder of the resilience required to navigate the unpredictable waters of professional sports and life’s unforeseen challenges.




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