D'Antoni: Robinson was not benched

Updated: November 23, 2009, 12:00 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni says Nate Robinson was not benched for taking a shot at the wrong basket Saturday.

The Knicks inbounded to Robinson in the backcourt with 0.5 seconds left in the first quarter of their 98-91 victory at New Jersey. Rather than just hold the ball, or heave one at the basket the Knicks were attacking, Robinson turned and shot at the wrong basket. The shot went in, but it was released after the buzzer and didn't count.

D'Antoni yelled at Robinson on the court between quarters.

"When you're 2-9, which we were at the time, I think any distractions are bad," D'Antoni said Sunday before the Knicks played Boston. "If our whole focus is not on trying to win and turn this thing around, then it's not right and it's not something we want to do, and it's just one incident and we'll go on and we'll see what happens today."

Robinson played only six minutes all game, leading to speculation he was benched. But D'Antoni said he just felt other players, such as starting guard Larry Hughes, were playing better.

The shot was shown on highlight clips on TV and the Internet on Saturday night. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked if he'd seen it.

"Yeah," Rivers said. "Interesting. That's not my problem."

Robinson's occasional bouts of immaturity have annoyed the Knicks. When he was pulled over this summer in a traffic stop, he joked and complained about it on his Twitter feed while waiting in his car. But D'Antoni said they were "cool" after Saturday's play.

"That's something that Nate will work on and we talked about it and keep talking about it, but that doesn't affect his playing time," D'Antoni said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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