First-round NBA draft pick. Three-time dunk champion. One point every two minutes. New Denver Nugget. Latest addition to Pepsi’s awesome Uncle Drew series. Short man.
As told to Nate Hopper:
I am five-nine even. With no shoes. Five-nine-and-a-half with shoes.
I’ve got a brother that’s six-one; I’ve got another brother who’s five-eleven/six-feet. I got a little brother that I’m taller than, thank god. My little sister, too. My dad’s, like, six-one-and-a-half, six-two almost. My mom is the short one; she’s the little Smurf.
We’re a competitive family—we compete in everything we do: playing cards; if we’re walking down the street, we want to be the first one down the block.
When I was younger, I was a bit of a feisty fighter type of guy. That’s something my father told me as I was becoming a man: You don’t go picking fights, but you don’t run from any of them. And I was more afraid of my father than anybody else I had to fight.
I don’t condone myself being like that—I just love to be a happy, positive person—but if I feel like they’re disrespecting me, I’ma let them know, and I’m not the type to argue.
I’ve blocked some of the greats, some of the Hall of Famers. But Yao Ming—I was just in the right place at the right time. I was in help defense, and I went to go jump and block it, and I was like, Either he’s going to get blocked, or I’m going to get dunked on. So I rolled the dice, and I ended up winning.
It’s been a while since we saw Uncle Drew hit the courts to school hordes of unsuspecting streetballers, but it was worth the wait. With a new (or should we say, “old”) acquaintance in tow, Uncle Drew is ready to wreak havoc all over again. We spoke with “Lights Out” aka Nate Robinson, on how Part III came down and how he may take his next battle into the virtual world of videogames.
When were you first approached about participating in the Uncle Drew spots?
This summer when I got back from Portugal. My agent called me and asked me if I wanted to hear the good news or the great news. I was like, “I want to hear the great news first.” So he told me about that and I was stoked, I was excited. I couldn’t wait. I kept asking, “When is it?” I kept bugging him.
I’ve been bugging Kyrie for like the last year and a half. It finally came true.
What was the good news part of the conversation?
He said that he lowered his car insurance by switching to Geico. I was like, “Yeah, I knew that was coming.” [laughs]
Did this announcement happen before you and Kyrie went at it in the summer in New York?
Actually it happened after New York. After we played against each other the Uncle Drew thing came up.
You think that had any influence?
I don’t think so. I’ve just been bugging him. Kyrie was probably like, “We gotta give it to Nate. He’s probably the best character for Uncle Drew III.” It was just a perfect relationship, a perfect bond. This is just the beginning of a great relationship with the brand. I’m really looking forward to collaborating in the future with Pepsi Max and with Kyrie with Uncle Drew.
What’s your character’s name and did you come up with it?
Robinson: They had me as another name and I was like, “Nah, I wanna pick my own name.” I picked “Lights” and it was for my uncle, his name was Orlon Robinson. He died of diabetes and his nickname was “Lights”–we called him “Uncle Lights.” It was something I wanted to give as a tribute to my uncle, because my father and my grandmother on my dad’s side, all think I look like him a lot. I have his personality. I love my uncle, he taught me so much. He didn’t get a chance to really see me blossom in the NBA, so I got the chance to show him how much I really love him and appreciate him when they let me change the name. When I told them the story about it they were like, “That’s cool, that’s the perfect name.” So my name is “Lights Out” Jenkins. [Ed note: Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore will play Light's sister, "Betty Lou Jenkins."]
Nate Robinson and film maker TJ Regan are back with the first episode of season 3. Episode 1 documents Nate’s transition from playing for the Chicago Bulls to being signed by the Denver Nuggets this summer.
Check out Nate Robinson in the latest episode of Pepsi MAX’s Uncle Drew. Nate stars as Uncle Drew’s old point guard “Lights.” Uncle Drew visits an underground jazz club in downtown Chicago to convince “Lights” to re-live their glory days on the court. As usual, players and spectators at the basketball court were told only that they would be filmed for a “basketball documentary” — what they really got were front row seats for some serious OLD MAN MAGIC.
CHICAGO — The most memorable moment of the Chicago Bulls’ 2013 playoff run came at the hands of Nate Robinson. The undersized, occasionally reckless veteran guard exploded for 34 points off the bench to help the Bulls pull off a 142-134 triple-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their first-round series. With Derrick Rose sitting out the whole season and Joakim Noah playing through a foot injury, someone had to step up. And that savior came in Robinson’s 5-foot-9 frame.
Fast-forward to the eve of the 2013-14 season’s tipoff — Rose is back and looking as good as he ever has, and Robinson has moved on, signing a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Denver Nuggets. Even though the Bulls opted not to re-sign him, the playoff run will forever hold special meaning for Robinson.
“It’s something special to me,” Robinson said before the Bulls’ 94-89 preseason-closing win against the Nuggets. “It was a special season and a great group of guys, man. And I miss it. I’d be lying to say I didn’t, but the guys over there, they showed me so much love — the coaching staff, the organization, the fans. It was a great run.”