Former NBA guard Nate Robinson is undergoing the fight of his life, two years removed from revealing that he’d been treated for renal kidney failure, back in October 2022.

The 39-year-old retired pro athlete, who’s remained active in competitive sports, made a shocking admission when revisiting his still-suffering health status. Still searching for a kidney replacement, Robinson revealed the true severity of where he’s at amid the medical treatment process.

“I know that I don’t have long if I can’t get a kidney,” Robinson told Jake Nisse of The Daily Mail. “I know I’m not going to have long to live. So I just want to make the best of it as much as I can.”

It’s been an unimaginable battle for Robinson, a father to three children. He’s made “strict” dietary changes, has made several abrupt hospital visits to address painful vomiting, and desperately needs the assistance of a dialysis machine. It’s been a four-year battle, in total, that’s challenged Robinson but hasn’t shattered the 11-year NBA veteran’s optimism.

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Robinson has kept his family in mind throughout the process and its highs and lows.

“The machine has been helping my longevity and my life right now,” Robinson explained, per Nisse. “So I’m just enjoying the times where I do feel healthy. I try to get out there with my kids, see my family and play basketball, do the things that I love.”

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Robinson made a career out of defying the odds, entering the NBA as a 5-foot-9 prospect when selected 21st overall in the 2005 draft by the Phoenix Suns.

The Washington product went on to also play for the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans before playing his final seasons overseas in Israel and Venezuela.

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However, Robinson is best known for winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest three times, iconically sporting the “Kyrptonate” green attire from head to toe and dunking over 6-foot-10 Dwight Howard in 2009. At that time, as Robinson played for the Knicks, he recalls knowing the reality that would lie ahead regarding his health in the coming years.

“When I was with the Knicks in 2006, my doctor, Lisa Callahan found my blood pressure to be pretty high, and they ran tests and did a whole bunch of stuff and (noticed) my kidneys were failing,” Robinson told Playermaker HQ in 2023. “… Back then, I thought I was young, invincible. I didn’t know when it was gonna catch up to me.”

Robinson added: “For me, I just was like, ‘Man, this is just another stepping stool, another obstacle that I had to overcome.'”

With a freakish athletic gift, Robinson provided the NBA some of its most memorable moments in the mid-2000s. He blocked 7-foot-6 Yao Ming in 2006, rejected a LeBron James layup in the 2013 playoffs and constantly trolled Shaquille O’Neal during their stop with the Celtics in 2010-11.

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Ultimately, it was Robinson’s kidney failure that prompted his retirement from professional basketball in 2018. At that time, Robinson had signed a contract in Lebanon but was released only two months later.

Featured image via Aric Becker/USA TODAY Sports Images