A Saturday night at Staples Center resulted in YouTube star Jake Paul standing in the corner, former NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson out cold on the floor and millions of pay-per-viewers wondering what on God’s green earth they had just watched. Officially, the boxing match ended midway through the second round as a Paul KO, but calling it a boxing match might be generous. It did end with a punch, but what came before was a preposterous rinse-and-repeat of Robinson charging his opponent, taking a counterpunch or two, then clinching until any more action was impossible. Robinson became an NBA fan favorite through his lack of height in a league of giants, but in this sport, he was unable to find a distance where he could evenly trade blows with the 6-foot-1 Paul.
Eric Woodyard: Nate Robinson’s trainer, Francisco "Paco" Reyes, tells ESPN that “he’s good.” Another source says he walked back to the back room on his own and is fine.
Nate Robinson: Thank you everyone for all of the well wishes, I’m OK. I appreciate @triller for the opportunity as well as everyone that has backed me during the fight. To my coaches, trainers, fans, and teammates, I appreciate all of the time and support you guys put in with me...it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage that there has been. #holdat
According to ESPN, the 23-year-old Paul landed three of his eight punches, but all of those led to knockdowns. One boxing legend who was analyzing the fight was not impressed with Robinson’s foray into a new sport. “You don’t play boxing,” analyst Sugar Ray Leonard said.
Paul, who said after the fight he’s concentrating on his musical career for now, still is planning to box again — and he even called out UFC star Conor McGregor. “Being one of the most hated people in the world, I have to fight through that,” Paul said after the fight. “It’s not easy. So for me, this is my perfect sport. I found my lane.”
March 2, 2021 | 11:11 am EST Update
NBA Central: “I don’t think it’s any secret in the league Victor Oladipo has a desire to play in Miami. He’d like to go there in free agency. They’re going to have cap space, so that may happen.” – Brian Windhorst pic.twitter.com/QrATjw5hQl
March 2, 2021 | 9:47 am EST Update
Still, league insiders don’t believe the Celtics can stand pat, and potentially waste a year of the primes of their two young building blocks who are playing at an elite level. “There comes a time where you have to do something to keep your stars placated and show that you’re trying, especially when they’re young and early in their primes,” the East executive said. “You have to make that commitment to them.”
That’s something Ainge has been reluctant to do in the past. The last time Boston acquired a player in an in-season trade was six years ago, when the team landed Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix. Only the San Antonio Spurs have a longer drought. “They’ll only do something,” the West executive said, “if they think they’re going to bury you.”