Former NBA Player Known For Being Court Clown, Says Coach Caused His Depression
He says he wasn't a "depressed person" before his career.
Former NBA player Nate Robinson says playing in the league made him depressed.
Robinson sat down with Bleacher Report for a profile where he described how his silly antics and colossal personality got him in trouble with coaches.
“Part of [his] personality is, he’s a clown. And he just doesn’t stop. He can’t turn it off. He almost can’t be serious,” said an anonymous coach who has worked with Robinson. “And so as much as you love him…that is also what kills him.”
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That tension took a toll on Robinson's mental health.
“The NBA gave me my depression,” Robinson said. “I’ve never been a depressed person in my life.”
Robinson said Knicks coach Larry Brown would call him “a little s**t,” and one day he visited Brown’s office in tears to get him to quit. Minutes later, Brown called him the name in front of his teammates and told them Robinson cried about it.
Brown said he doesn’t “have any recollection” of the incident and “shame on me” if that occurred.
Robinson tried to change his personality to please people, but that made him struggle more.
“I was trying to change. Nobody would ever know the real struggles that I had to fight to try to be somebody that I wasn’t. … That was the hardest thing in my career. Not basketball, not working out. Not my children,” Robinson said. “But the hardest thing in my whole life, of my 34 years in existence on earth, was dealing with 11 years in the NBA of trying to be somebody that [NBA coaches] want me to be.”