Robinson said he struggled with trying to be the person his coaches expected him to be.
Nate Robinson is hoping to make a comeback in the NBA, and he recently opened up about some of the personal issues he faced during his 11-year career. Robinson shared how he developed depression during his NBA career and felt like he struggled with having both an angel and a demon inside of him.
"The NBA gave me my depression," Robinson told Bleacher Report. "I've never been a depressed person in my life."
Robinson turned heads as a 5' 9" point guard weighing only 180 pounds, but he played for eight teams in 11 seasons. He said he began going to therapy during the 2012-13 season when he played for the Bulls. In therapy, he was trying to figure out what he did wrong that made him bounce around so much in the league.
"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," Robinson said.
Robinson said that he was looked down on for his behavior. While he enjoyed playing with a little flair or joking around, he felt that he was being punished for his actions. It seemed to him that other people thought the solution to his problem was to be quiet and serious.
With the Bulls, Robinson started sitting at the front of the plane on trips so he wouldn't be tempted to crack jokes. Even when he did tried acting differently, Robinson moved around to three more teams after he left the Bulls.
"Part of [his] personality is, he’s a clown," a verteran assistant coach who worked with Robinson said. "And he just doesn’t stop. He can’t turn it off. He almost can’t be serious. And so as much as you love him…that is also what kills him.”
The point guard last played for the Pelicans in the 2015-16 season and spent last year playing for the Delaware 87ers in the G league. He's pushing for a comeback and trying to stay positive this time around.