Nate Robinson made public Saturday his four-year battle with renal kidney failure. The former New York Knick and NBA journeyman spent 11 seasons in the NBA, starting with a five-year stint with the Knicks.
The three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and former guard said the reason for the announcement was to shine a light on the disease.
“I’m sharing this now because I want to be the voice for all those who are having trouble speaking about this illness and come together for a greater cause—our health,” Robinson wrote in his statement that was shared on various social media websites.
Robinson became a fan-favorite in the league due to his tenacity despite short stature. The 5’9” guard notably jumped over 1986 champion Spud Webb in the 2006 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest. The dunk received a perfect 50-point score as Robinson just edged past Andre Iguodala 141-140 in overtime.
He returned for the 2007 dunk contest in which he finished second. A few years later Robinson one back-to-back competitions in 2009 and 2010, making him the first three-time champion of the event.
After his time with the Knicks ended, spent time with the Celtics, Thunder, Warriors, Bulls, Nuggets, Clippers, and Pelicans before going overseas.
Robinson hopes opening up about his battle will help all those affected by the disease.
“I was never a vocal leader on the court, I preferred to lead by example, but now it’s time for me to speak up and help those affected by or dealing with Kidney Disease,” he wrote.
Kidney disease is when your kidneys stop working well enough for the person to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant. The kidneys lose their ability to filter waste from blood. More than one in seven U.S. adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease and as many as nine in 10 adults do not know they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of 2021.
(Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press)