NBA: Another tough night in New York for Larry Brown
NEW YORK ó Nate Robinson often had a seat on the bench when Larry Brown ran the New York Knicks.
On Wednesday, the reserve guard showed his old coach just how dangerous he can be when he gets on the floor.
Robinson scored all of his 24 points in the first half, and the Knicks ruined Brown’s first game back at Madison Square Garden with a 101-98 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
“Nate’s first half, I don’t know how much better he can get,” Brown said. “It looks like the basket’s a bathtub. That was pretty spectacular. I put our best defender on him and Nate lost him a few times. And then he gets a putback during that rally.
“But we withstood the storm, but we were just very, very careless.”
Robinson scored 19 points, hitting all four 3-point attempts, during an electric second quarter. He waved his arms to pump up the crowd after one of them, which a few years ago might have made his coach cringe.
“I mean, I’m me,” Robinson said. “I just play basketball. I don’t worry about mistakes. I hustle and that’s what I do. I’m an energy guy, I’ve got to bring that every night.”
Zach Randolph had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Wilson Chandler added 18 points and Jamal Crawford had 14 of his 16 in the second half for the Knicks, who bounced back after poor offensive performances in consecutive losses.
Brown was fired after going 23-59 in 2005-06, a bizarre season in which he publicly feuded with players, and was accused by management of violating MSG media policies and attempting to broker trades behind former team president Isiah Thomas’ back.
“We didn’t win a lot of games with me as the coach and that’s something that I think about a lot because the people here deserve the best,” Brown said before the game.
Brown didn’t have much use for Robinson’s showboating as a rookie and benched him for eight straight games after the All-Star break. But the fourth-year guard has become a valuable reserve under Mike D’Antoni, who has no problem with any of Robinson’s antics.