Nate Robinson Says Former Coach Cost Him $1.5M By Unnecessarily Benching Him

Retired NBA player Nate Robinson opened up on “The OGs” podcast with Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller about how he believes his former coach Doc Rivers cost him a $1 million bonus.

Photo via Instagram, @naterobinson

The 39-year-old revealed that Rivers gave him a DNP in the final game of the season, which stopped him from collecting the hefty bag. It also was one of the catalysts that caused him not to like the veteran coach.

On The Bench

“I’ve still got a little beef with Doc. I had it in my contract where I made like $2 million—it’s like $1.5 million or something like that—if I played a certain amount of games. Doc Rivers gives me a DNP, the game where I needed one more game to get $1.5 million,” Robinson said on the show.

DNP is basketball speak for “Did not play.-“

In 2010, the New York Knicks sent Robinson, the 5’9″ player, now resting on an estimated net worth of $9 million nest egg, to the Boston Celtics. In return, the Knicks received Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and a draft pick.

Well before the trade to Boston, Robinson’s Knicks contract had stipulated that he would get a $1 million bonus — not $1.5 million — if he played 58 games in 2009-2010 regular season and the team made the playoffs. When the trade was complete, the bonus clause was assumed by the Celtics. By the time he played his first game for Boston on Feb. 23, 2010, he had missed so many games with New York that he needed to play every remaining game to trigger his bonus.

The Celtics made the playoffs easily, but they sat Robinson for two games in April, avoiding paying Robinson the $1 million bonus, according to Basketball Network, but also saving an additional $1 million in luxury tax penalties.

“After the game goes, I call my agent and told him, ‘Bro, I think he did that on purpose,'” the three-time Slam Dunk Contest champ recalled.

Adding, “He was like, ‘Well, we don’t have no proof that he did.’ And I was like, ‘Bro, I come from the Knicks. I was just playing, and then I don’t play. That’s a clear sign. Why would he give me a DNP for? I’m not hurt. I’m ready to go. What was the reason?’ I never even asked him, but I know he did that s—t on purpose. I know it.”

Despite this alleged financial sabotage, Robinson chose to play for Rivers again later in his career.

He re-signed with the Celtics in the 2010 offseason on a two-year deal but was traded midway through the 2010-11 season. In 2015, he joined Rivers’ Los Angeles Clippers on two 10-day contracts.

Throughout his NBA career, Robinson played for several teams, including the Knicks, Warriors, Celtics, and Chicago Bulls, from 2005 to 2016, earning $24,555,319 over 11 years, according to

Now retired, Robinson faces a critical health battle, as he is in desperate need of a kidney transplant and is searching for a match to save his life.

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