On social media, it became inevitable that seemingly everyone made fun of former NBA player Nate Robinson for his brutal knockout loss to Jake Paul. In NBA circles, however, Robinson had some supporters.
“I think what he did was bold,” Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said Tuesday in a conference call. “He got in the ring. A lot of the people don’t got the nuts to do it. So respect to him for doing it.”
Robinson hardly received much respect after he got knocked out less than two minutes into the second round.
In the first round, Robinson fell quickly after Paul hit him just above the ear. In the second round, Robinson fell again after Paul struck him on the forehead. After getting up quickly, Robinson moved aggressively toward Paul only for him to punch him again. All in all, three of Paul’s eight punches ended in knockdowns.
“You go into a fight and all it takes is one punch. Anything can happen,” Lillard said. “On one side you got to respect fighters. Respect the sport. Let fighters fight. Some of them train their whole life to be fighters. Some of them, that is all they do. They’re in the gym sparring. They’re in the gym working on their footwork, and they jab and they hook and they uppercut and absorbing punches and keeping their necks strong and keeping their chins right. That’s what they do. I think it was a bold move by him.”
Nonetheless, some of the criticism stemmed from Robinson’s struggles against another inexperienced fighter. Paul had only appeared in one other fight. Otherwise, Paul is known for becoming a sensation on YouTube and dabbling in the music business. Still, Paul has trained extensively since for his two fights.
“Everybody is making a big thing out of it because it was Nate Robinson. But people get knocked out in in the boxing gym every day,” Lillard said. “They’re a part of that sport. He chose to participate in that sport. He just came up on the wrong end of it. I watch boxing so much that I don’t view it the same way everybody else does because I know that’s part of the fight game.”