Do Dunks Mean New Contract for Nate?

Another All-Star Game passed on Sunday without any involvement from the Knicks, but they did get to play a role in the carnival sideshow on Saturday night. Nate Robinson won his second title in the Slam Dunk Contest by vaulting himself over Dwight Howard, an impressive feat of athletic ability. But is it one that should impact his future with the team? 

That's a question Marc Berman raises in the New York Post by writing that Robinson might be wearing a different uniform in next year's dunkfest which would "devastate some Knicks fans." His star has risen, Berman argues, and he's more popular than David Lee, a questionable theory, so the Knicks decision about re-signing him has just become more difficult. He even goes to Spike Lee for glowing quotes about Robinson, and seems to come down on the side of keeping him around because he jumps high for a short guy. 

It's a strange argument to make less than a week after Robinson played the best game of his career. On Wednesday night against the Clippers, with Chris Duhon sidelined by injury, Robinson filled the stat sheet with 33 points, 15 assists, nine rebounds, five steals and only one turnover.

It was, in short, a virtuoso performance that made you wonder why Robinson kept his ability to play a complete game a secret until now. There was none of the showboating against the Clippers, none of the selfishness that usually marks his play and all the qualities you'd look for in a combo guard. It was a performance as excellent as it was uncharacteristic.

Robinson's dunks are entertaining, but they do very little to help the team win. The less entertaining he is, like on Wednesday night, the more he helps the Knicks. If anything, winning the dunk contest could push Robinson to show off more, and ultimately hurt his chances at re-signing with the team.  

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