It doesn’t matter if it’s video games or hoops. When Isaiah Thomas doesn’t win, Nate Robinson lets him have it.
But after the Sacramento Kings’ 114-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors Saturday, Thomas gets to do the talking.
“After we (Kings) lost in Oakland, Nate was talking mad trash,” said Thomas. “He was just laughing at me, but (Saturday) we got the best of him, so it’s my turn now.”
This is more than a friendly rivalry. These two are adopted brothers by choice.
Robinson, the eldest by five years, acts like the older sibling, while Thomas is relegated to younger brother status. The duo has a bond that runs back to the Northwest. Both natives of the Evergreen State, ended up Huskies at the University of Washington.
The similarities don’t stop there. Both measure at 5’9” and have been told their entire lives they’re “too small” to be successful in a game of giants. Whether high school, college or now the NBA, the whispers have yet to cease.
“Still to this day,” Thomas said.
But, those murmurs should be fading. After seven NBA seasons, Robinson continues to show he is a force off the bench for any team. Meanwhile, Thomas, the rookie, continues to see his minutes increase in crucial moments.
“Its fun to see someone else that is under six feet beating all the odds,” Robinson said.
The summers are spent together shooting, dribbling, lifting and the occasional game of “Call of Duty” on Xbox. During the season, the pair say they chat or text every day, which doesn’t stop even when their teams meet on the hardwood.
Thomas admits, “He tells me a lot about what he sees on the court and that’s even if it’s in a game.”
Robinson scored 20 as he was teaching the young Thomas, who had six points last night. But for Isaiah, it is all about getting the win.
“We got the same heart and tenacity,” said Thomas. “That is why you have to get the bragging rights.”