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Nate Robinson: 'The NBA gave me my depression'

theScore logo theScore 6/19/2018 Joe Wolfond

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NBA life might seem glamorous and enviable from the outside, but it can also exact a serious price, as it did from former point guard Nate Robinson.

"The NBA gave me my depression," Robinson told Bleacher Report's Mirin Fader. "I've never been a depressed person in my life."

Robinson, who appeared in 618 NBA games over 11 years, told Fader that the root of his depression was an identity crisis spurred by coaches like Larry Brown and Tom Thibodeau, who tried to blunt his antics, idiosyncrasies, and oft-disruptive behavior, and at times berated him for those perceived character flaws. Robinson said he started to doubt himself after years of feeling self-assured and began going to therapy without telling anyone.

"I was trying to change," he said. "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.

"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."

Robinson, who last played in 2015 - a two-game stint with the New Orleans Pelicans - is still hoping for an NBA return, but also says he's rediscovered himself since leaving the league.

"Dr. Seuss, he says: 'You gotta be you. There's nobody youer than you,'" Robinson said. "Trust me. I love that: 'There’s nobody youer than you.' Why be anybody else? That's how I live. That's how I play my game. I'm gonna be me. I don't know how to play and be anybody else other than Nate Robinson."

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