Playoff star Nate Robinson admits he misses Bulls
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter October 25, 2013 10:52PM
Updated: November 27, 2013 6:14AM
Nate Robinson was back in his element Friday night.
To the media, fans, his former teammates, his current teammates. Non-stop, from the moment he walked into the United Center till the moment he left.
He discussed his one season with the Bulls, a season that still means a lot to the Denver Nuggets’ 5-9 guard.
“This is something special to me, just because of last year and what we did,’’ Robinson said. “A great group of guys, and I miss it. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t.’’
Robinson was the face of a Derrick Rose-less team, especially during the playoff run when the Bulls were without Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Robinson said strangers still come up to him and talk about Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets in which Robinson brought the Bulls back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring 34 points in the overtime victory.
His hope was to stay with the Bulls, but he wasn’t in their plans.
“This is a business, man,’’ Robinson said. “Everybody knew I wanted to come back, but they had other things in mind.
“They’ve got a great team. Plus, they’ve got D-Rose coming back, so why have Nate Robinson when you have D-Rose? I know that’s been the talk around the league. Pooh [Rose] is back healthy, looking good, and he’s the man, and that’s how it should be.’’
Hinrich (shoulder) and Joakim Noah (groin) missed the last preseason game, as expected, but coach Tom Thibodeau said there’s still a slight chance they could be back for the regular-season opener in Miami.
“They were good [Friday], better,’’ Thibodeau said.
“I want them to go through some practices first, then we’ll see where they are.’’
Rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy saw their share of minutes in the preseason, but that will come to an end when the regular season starts. They’re likely to be used sparingly at first.
“If they keep doing the things they’re doing, they’ll continue to improve,’’ Thibodeau said. “And when they get the opportunity, I’m sure they’re going to take advantage of it.’’