Before Connections airs on MSG Networks, former New York Knicks stars, Nate Robinson and David Lee, reminisced on their time together and in college.
The 2005 NBA Draft became a milestone for the New York Knicks, as they traded for Nate Robinson‘s rights at No. 21 overall and selected David Lee at No. 30. Both were collegiate stars who found success with the organization in their four-plus years together.
Lee and Robinson were not part of New York’s success from 2010 and on, but they still hold memories from their days in Manhattan. That included the latter’s win in the 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
On Monday, MSG Networks will air Connections, which features one-on-one conversations between well-known New York sports and entertainment figures. Lee and Robinson will appear on the latest edition.
Ahead of the episode, in these exclusive quotes from MSG Networks, the former Knicks stars discussed the won dunk content, and head coach Larry Brown‘s reaction to the 5-foot-9 guard’s accomplishment:
"Robinson – I would say for me, that experience [the dunk contest] was just a breath of fresh air for me to be able to do something where I could represent one, the Knicks, and two, myself and my family.Lee – We were all so proud of Nate, cause we see him dunking at practice, and we’re like, “oh my gosh, if the rest of the world could see this, this kid because of his height, his athleticism, his energy”. I called my friends back home and were like, “wait until you see the Slam Dunk Contest.” So, he [Nate] comes out, wins the dunk contest, and we’re all like, “this is great.” Then we get back to practice…Robinson – And Coach Larry Brown, he gave me ten straight DNP’s. He didn’t even say congratulations.Lee – He goes, “hope you had fun, son…all of that razz-ma-tazz,” and then you didn’t see the floor for the next month."
Robinson didn’t appear in a game from Feb. 22 to Mar. 13 that season, despite finding consistent minutes in New York’s rotation in the 2005-06 season’s first half. He responded with 11.8 points on 46.5 percent shooting and 42 percent on three-pointers afterward, and Brown was fired after his one and only campaign ended.
Robinson also won the 2009 and 2010 dunk contests, the former of which was over Dwight Howard.
Lee also discussed how he and Robinson met. They attended college at Florida and Washington, respectively, and at the Nike camp, where one of them flaunted backflips into dunks:
"We met in college and then got to know each other, hit it off right away. This is a guy that at the Nike camp after we were done playing would work on backflips into dunking for like three and half hours, when I was so tired at the end of the scrimmage that I could hardly move. So from the start, unlimited energy. That would be something that would be a continued trend for as long as we knew each other. The guy never stops.”"
These two clearly have a history together, beyond their time with the Knicks and seemed to earn each other’s respect.
Robinson played for the Knicks from 2005-10. Appearing in 310 games, he averaged 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He last played in 2015-16 for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Lee spent an extra half-season in the Big Apple, but also played there from 2005-10. He averaged 13.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 368 games and made the 2010 NBA All-Star game, before retiring from basketball in November 2017.
See what else these two have to say on MSG Networks’ Connections at 10:30 p.m. ET. It follows the Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.