Nate Robinson is one of few sub-six-foot NBA players that can hold his own on the hardwood. So, instead of sizing himself up to other small hoopers, he compares himself to — and honors — Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi, who is listed at 5-7.
Robinson has decided to wear No. 10 for the Denver Nuggets this upcoming season, in honor of the Barcelona striker whom many consider to be the greatest soccer player in the world. Robinson, who stands at 5-9, has worn Nos. 2, 3 and 4 with previous teams, but since the Nuggets’ No. 2 jersey is retired for Alex English, Robinson decided to go in a different direction.
“I’m going to change it up and wear No. 10. I’m going to wear it for Messi, that’s my favorite soccer player.” Robinson said in an interview with Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs. “I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA lately and watching the games. He’s the best little guy to do it and I’ve got to be the best little guy to do it at No. 10 in the NBA. That’s my goal.”
Robinson signed a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Nuggets on July 22. He spent the 2012-13 season with the Chicago Bulls, filling in at point guard for the injured Derrick Rose, where he averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Check out Robinson’s new jersey and number below in a photo he posted to his Instagram account.