After a short-lived and ultimately doomed foray into professional football, three-time NBA Dunk champ Nate Robinson made his Israeli basketball debut on Sunday with Hapoel Tel Aviv, and it was a doozy. The former NBA journeyman put on a show with 25 points, four rebounds, three assists, and a couple of long-range bombs, one of which closed out the game from the mid-court line. Hapoel ended up beating Maccabi Rishon Lezionthe 103-94.
Robinson apparently signed on with the team midseason (they are currently out of the playoff picture) for a nominal amount of money and was only able to practice twice with his squad prior to his first game on Sunday. Via Allon Sinai of The Jerusalem Post:
The 31-year-old guard, who hasn’t played since being waived by the New Orleans Pelicans last October, was persuaded to come to Israel by former University of Washington teammate Tre Simmons, who signed with Hapoel last November. Robinson is set to earn in the region of $50,000-60,000 for the final two months of the regular season.
“Tre told me that our fans are fun crazy and that’s part of my game so we are going to get along well,” said Robinson. “I’ll bring energy to the team and hopefully I can give the team that extra push.”
Nagging injuries ultimately cut Robinson’s NBA career short, so it’s good to see him feeling healthy again and playing basketball at a relatively high level.