Rarely does there come a time where I genuinely like opposing teams players. Sure, I love to watch Kobe take over a game, or see Brandon Roy fill up the stat sheet in his young career. However, I don't feel any sort of attachment to those guys while I watch them, the way I do with the Magic players that I've followed for so long. I know Dwight is a goofball on and off the court. I enjoy seeing Turk make a fool out of himself with the Turkey Dance. And I admire Adonal Foyle for his commitment to making this world a better place.
Tonight, the Magic travel to the big apple to take on the New York Knicks. Tonight's game will be anything but a defensive slugfest, as both teams love to shoot the 3, and the Knicks are playing the run & gun style of yesteryears Suns. While I always look forward to watching my Magic play, I have another reason to look forward to tonights game. That reason: Nate Robinson.
Nate is much like our own Dwight Howard. Both are free spirited, and like to have fun while playing the game. Yet, they both have a strong desire to perform at a top notch level. This year has been one of Nates best years statiscally, as he has been given more minutes, and more offensive freedom. But it's his personality that sets him apart from his teammates.
Like Dwight, Nate is beloved by fans and doesn't hesitate to interact with them if given the chance. Just the other night against the Pacers, Nate interacted with a fan that he was actually a fan of, Mr. Will Ferrell. The two shared shake & bake fist bumps together after Nate would score, and Nate even went as far as to give him an autographed jersey after the game. Anybody who fists bumps with Ron Burgandy is OK in my book. But it doesn't stop there. Nate has made it known he is an avid gamer, playing CoD with several fans and gamers alike on X-Box live. Sure, the gamers he played with assumed it wasn't him, but Nate made sure they knew it was. After shooting a free throw, Nate saluted the guys he plays with, proving to them it was him all along.
In a time where players are too serious for their own good, or would rather fight with opposing players then share a laugh, it's refreshing to see a guy who doesn't take himself too seriously and isn't afraid to be himself. It doesn't hurt that he is a hell of a dunker too.
Some other notes for tonights game:
- The Magic lost to the Knicks in their last meeting, 90-100.
- Recently acquired Knicks F Chris Wilcox was a name mentioned frequently on Magic forums as being the PF the Magic need to put next to Dwight.
- Assistant Magic coach Patrick Ewing, well, you know. He was pretty good for the Knicks.
- The Magic are coming off a loss where they gave up the most points they have all season, 120.
- The Knicks finally reached an agreement with Stephon Marbury to waive him yesterday, thus allowing him to sign with another NBA team.