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Is Nate Robinson Actually 5‘9"? Exploring His True Height and Incredible Career

The simple answer is – yes, Nate Robinson is in fact 5‘9" tall, despite being considered short for an NBA player. Throughout his 11-year career, Robinson‘s actual height was often questioned and listed variably due to his incredible athletic feats. But according to official measurements, he stands at 5‘9" flat without shoes. Now let‘s dive into the fascinating story of Nate Robinson‘s height and triumphant career as a diminutive NBA dynamo.

All About Nate Robinson: The Undersized NBA Trailblazer

Before analyzing Robinson‘s height and accomplishments, let‘s briefly introduce this remarkable player:

  • Full Name: Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson
  • Birthday: May 31, 1984 (age 39) in Seattle, Washington
  • Height: 5‘9" (1.75 m) without shoes
  • Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
  • Draft: 1st round, 21st overall in 2005 by the Phoenix Suns
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Teams: Knicks, Celtics, Thunder, Warriors, Bulls, Nuggets, Clippers, Pelicans
  • Career Span: 2005-2015
  • Career Stats: 11.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals per game

Despite his short stature, Robinson carved out an impressive 11-year career in the NBA, defying the odds and becoming a fan favorite. He‘ll forever be remembered for his electric athleticism and giant-slaying dunks despite standing just 5‘9".

Nate Robinson‘s Basketball Journey and Dunking Dominance

Before exploring the intriguing question around Robinson‘s height, let‘s overview his NBA career:

Getting Drafted and Rookie Success

  • Drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2005 NBA Draft
  • Traded to New York Knicks in 2005 where he spent his first 5 seasons
  • Won 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as a 5‘9" rookie, wowing with dunks over Spud Webb
  • Named NBA All-Rookie First Team after averaging 9.3 points per game

All-Star Production with the Knicks

  • From 2007-2010 averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 assists per game with NY Knicks
  • Had breakout year in 2008-09 averaging career highs with 17.2 points and 4.1 assists
  • Selected as NBA All-Star in 2009, rarity for 5‘9" guard

Becoming the Dunk Contest Legend

  • Won 2009 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with "Kryptonate" dunk over Dwight Howard
  • Entered 2010 NBA Dunk Contest as heavy favorite and completed three-peat
  • Became first 3-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion in 2010
  • Cemented status as one of greatest dunkers ever at just 5‘9"

Journeyman Veteran Providing Scoring Spark

  • Traded to multiple teams in quest for championship from 2010-2015
  • Key bench player providing instant offense for Celtics, Warriors, Bulls, Nuggets
  • Played in 607 regular season games and 71 playoff games
  • Averaged 7.7 points in just 18 minutes per game as sixth man

Despite limited minutes, Robinson crammed highlights into his 11-year career. His size never confined his soaring dunks and zealous energy. How did a 5‘9" guard rise above challenges to achieve NBA stardom? Let‘s explore the secrets behind Nate Robinson‘s height and success.

Demystifying Nate Robinson‘s Actual Height

Officially measured at 5‘9" without shoes, Nate Robinson is one of the shortest players in modern NBA history. But as his career progressed, speculation swirled about whether he was really 5‘9". Where did these questions around his true height originate?

Varying Height Listings

In high school, Robinson was originally listed at 5′7′′. But as he developed into a top prospect, he grew and eventually measured 5′9′′ barefoot at the NBA pre-draft combine in 2005.

However, throughout his NBA career, he was sometimes listed taller at 5′10′′ or 5′11′′ in team rosters and media guides, likely to sound less diminutive. This fluctuation fueled speculation.

Mind-Boggling Athleticism

Robinson‘s leaping ability also warped perceptions of his height. Though just 5‘9", he could dunk as ferociously as players seven or eight inches taller. His hops defied belief for someone so short.

Tenacious Defense

Despite his stature, Robinson could pester and defend bigger guards using his speed and hops. This defensive prowess made some question if he was taller than listed.

Giant-Slaying Dunks

By dunking over giants like Dwight Howard, Robinson achieved feats deemed impossible for a 5‘9" guard. His dunking dominance made his listed height seem dubious.

So while official records pegged him at 5‘9", his shot-blocking, dunking and speed suggested extra height. But Robinson maximized every inch of his 5‘9" frame to achieve NBA glory.

Nate Robinson‘s Actual Height and Measurements

While rumors swirled, what do the real numbers say about Nate Robinson‘s height?

Without Shoes69175 cm
With Shoes70178 cm
Wingspan70178 cm
Standing Reach75"190 cm
Max Vertical Leap46"116 cm

Robinson measured 5‘9" barefoot at the 2005 NBA Combine prior to the draft.

Though generously listed as 5‘10" or 5‘11" during his career, Robinson is by all accounts 5‘9" without shoes. But he overcame this height disadvantage through freakish hops and determination.

How Nate Robinson‘s Height Impacted His Game and Career

For a point guard, Nate Robinson giving up 4-6 inches to opponents was monumental. But he conquered these challenges through athleticism, skills and tireless work.

Challenges Due to Height

First, what size-based disadvantages did Robinson face?

  • Couldn‘t see over defenses to pass and finish at the rim
  • Struggled defending taller guards who could shoot over him
  • Had drives blocked by shot blockers with 7-8 inch advantages
  • Had to overcome low expectations for shorter players

Keys to Overcoming Lack of Height

So how did Robinson conquer these obstacles?

Unreal Athleticism

Robinson‘s off-the-charts athleticism compensated for his deficit in height. His 46" vertical leap helped him dunk on giants and elevate over defenses.

Lightning Speed and Quickness

With blazing speed, Robinson blew by defenders before they could leverage their height. His quickness kept opponents on their heels.

Pesky Defense

He hounded ball-handlers, using tenacity to disrupt players who couldn‘t simply shoot over him. His 1.2 steals per game are exceptional for his size.

Tireless Work Ethic

Robinson worked maniacally on his skills – handles, shooting, finishing – to stand out as undersized. His gym rat mentality paid dividends.

Powerful Build

Though 5‘9", Robinson weighed a muscular 185 pounds in his prime. His strength allowed him to absorb contact against bigger bodies.

Infectious Energy

His passionate style of play motivated teammates and energized fans. His spirit lifted those around him.

Ultimately, Robinson‘s athleticism and work ethic helped him thrive as one of the shortest players in the NBA. He never let his height deter him from excelling.

Nate Robinson‘s Training Regimen to Defy the Odds

We know Robinson overcame his height through athletic gifts and determination. But specifically, how did he train to stand out against taller peers?

Maximizing Athleticism

Robinson focused intensely on enhancing his athleticism through:

  • Plyometrics: Jumping drills like box jumps to build explosive leaping power

  • Agility drills: Ladder, cone, and slide board drills to improve quickness and change of direction

  • Sprints: Running drills to maximize straight line speed

  • Core training: Planks, medicine ball work to build strength around the rim against contact

By prioritizing athletic training, Robinson built freakish explosiveness to compensate for being undersized.

Skill Development

Robinson spent hours honing his skills to diversify his game:

  • Ballhandling drills: Advanced dribbling through traffic to keep control against size

  • Shooting practice: Hundreds of jumpers daily to develop his outside shot

  • Finishing drills: Floater and scoop layup reps to finesse shots over bigs

  • Passing drills: Pepper drills and target practice to improve court vision

Robinson complemented his athleticism with polished skills to become a complete player.

Tireless Work Ethic

Robinson relentlessly outworked opponents. He was the first in the gym, and last to leave, putting in marathon sessions to perfect his game against bigger foes.

Ultimately, Robinson‘s meticulous skill work and training helped him excel as one of the NBA‘s smallest players.

How Robinson‘s Playing Style Overcame Lack of Height

Based on his physical profile, Robinson adjusted his playing style to capitalize on his strengths:

  • Used speed and quickness to attack offensively

  • Developed feathery outside shooting touch to provide spacing

  • Became an elite dunker by leveraging vertical leap

  • Played with infectious energy that lifted teams

  • Excelled at harassing defense using quick hands and feet

  • Provided instant scoring as dynamic microwave off bench

  • Ran fast in transition game to get easy buckets before defense set

By adapting his game to fit his diminutive but athletic talents, Robinson found a niche in the league.

Stats and Accolades That Defied Nate Robinson‘s Height

Despite his 5‘9" stature, Robinson compiled an impressive statistical resume:

  • 11.0 points per game career average
  • 3x NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion (2006, 2009, 2010)
  • 181 career games scoring 20+ points
  • 12 career games scoring 30+ points
  • 33 points personal career-high scoring
  • 45.7% career field goal percentage
  • 1.2 steals per game

For a player considered too small, Robinson stuffed the stat sheet. He didn‘t let his height limit his production.

How Robinson Compared to Other Small NBA Guards

To provide context around Nate Robinson‘s size, let‘s compare him to other diminutive NBA guards:

PlayerHeightCareer PPGDunk Champ?All Star?
Nate Robinson5‘9"11.0Yes (3x)Yes (1x)
Isaiah Thomas5‘9"18.1NoYes (2x)
Calvin Murphy5‘9"17.9NoYes (1x)
Muggsy Bogues5‘3"7.7NoNo
Spud Webb5‘7"8.1Yes (1x)No

This table demonstrates that while small, Robinson stacked up well statistically compared to the best undersized guards in league history like Calvin Murphy and Isaiah Thomas. His dunk titles also set him apart athletically.

Ultimately, Nate Robinson excelled against height challenges through athleticism, skills, determination and the right role. He showed big things can come in small packages.

The Heart and Soul of Nate Robinson

As we‘ve explored, Robinson’s athletic gifts and work ethic helped him thrive in the NBA. But beyond the physical, his vibrant personality and passion set him apart.

Infectious Enthusiasm

Robinson played with joyful enthusiasm. His spirit was infectious to those around him, energizing teammates and fans alike.

Confident Mindset

Despite his size disadvantage, Robinson brimmed with self-belief. His swagger and fearlessness proved doubters wrong.

Competitive Fire

He brought relentless competitiveness each night. Robinson played with a fiery passion that fueled his success.

Comedian and Prankster

Off-court, Robinson entertained teammates with his humor and pranks. His vibrant personality provided levity.

At his core, Robinson was a ball of kinetic energy who uplifted teammates. This spirit supplemented his skill and hops.

The Enduring Legacy of Nate Robinson

When his exciting career concluded, what legacy did Nate Robinson leave behind?

Athletic Prowess

His athletic dunks broke preconceptions of what was possible for smaller guards. His hops inspired awe.

Overcoming Obstacles

Robinson exemplified that through determination and grit, any obstacle like height can be conquered.

Changing Perceptions

He helped shift height bias in the NBA. After Nate, smaller guards were no longer dismissed outright.

Inspiring Others

For shorter hoopers, Robinson‘s success story motivates them to chase their basketball dreams.

Unforgettable Entertainer

With his dunks and vibrant energy, Robinson entertained crowds for a decade. His highlights endure.

Though just 5‘9", Nate Robinson left an outsized imprint on the game. Years after he played his final NBA game, his legend continues to inspire hoopers of all sizes.

The Comeback: Robinson‘s Current Health Battle

Tragically, after his playing days ended, Robinson faced a major health crisis. In 2022, he revealed kidney failure fromfocal segmental glomerulosclerosis and the need for regular dialysis.

But even while battling this condition, Robinson‘s spirit perseveres. He continues to train young players and thrive as a coach, motivational speaker, and commentator.

Despite his current health challenge, Robinson remains dedicated to uplifting the next generation of players. He continues to inspire others to chase their basketball dreams against all odds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nate Robinson‘s Height

Let‘s answer some common questions about Nate Robinson‘s height and career:

Q: How tall is Nate Robinson officially?

A: Without shoes, Nate Robinson measured 5‘9" or 69 inches at the 2005 NBA Draft Combine.

Q: Did he ever compete in the dunk contest against Lebron James?

A: No, Robinson and LeBron James never competed head-to-head in a dunk contest. LeBron has never entered the NBA‘s Slam Dunk Contest.

Q: What are some of Nate Robinson‘s most famous dunks?

A: Some of his most iconic dunks include leaping over Spud Webb in 2006, the "Kryptonate" Superman dunk over Dwight Howard in 2009, and jumping over Paul Pierce in 2010.

Q: Did Nate Robinson ever win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award?

A: No, despite being an elite bench scorer, Robinson never won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award during his career.

Q: What jersey number did Nate Robinson wear?

A: Throughout his NBA career, Nate Robinson wore jersey #2 for the Knicks, Thunder and Celtics. He also wore #22 briefly while playing for the Warriors.

Q: Is Nate Robinson enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?

A: As of 2023, Nate Robinson is not in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. While his NBA career was impressive, he has not yet been nominated or selected for enshrinement.

Q: Who were Nate Robinson‘s teammates on the Knicks?

A: During Robinson‘s 5 seasons with the Knicks (2005-2010), his teammates included Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.