The Apple of New York's Eye is a "Small Guy from Seattle"

Writing in Seattle Weekly, Rafe Bartholemew tells everything you could ever want to know about Nate Robinson. The self proclaimed "small guy from Seattle" has become an international media sensation, and here has assembled all manner of interesting stuff about the high energy Knick.

For instance:

  • Robinson once nearly missed a team flight because he was buying Ex-Lax to put in Eddy Curry's cereal as a prank.

  • Robinson's mom, Renee Busch, calls Robinson her "little black millionaire" and points out that she went pro braiding hair about the same time he went pro playing basketball.

  • At the beginning of the season, he told his high school coach not to stress because the state title was theirs. And he was right.

  • On the road in college, fans would taunt him by chanting "Ga-ry Cole-man."

Bartholomew then fleshes out the story of the moment Robinson calls the "ultimate highlight" of his career so far: That February 23 game when Robinson scored 41 points and bumped fists with Will Ferrell.

Robinson is no casual Ferrell fan. He has mastered the actor's oeuvre, and cites early duds like Superstar with the same enthusiasm as he does later classics like Anchorman. He can perform entire scenes from Step Brothers, but, as Robinson says in reference to Ferrell's character in Talladega Nights, "that Ricky BobbyNate Robinson, Will Ferrellreally put me over the edge. Every time I saw him, all I could think about is every character that he's been. I know almost every line like I rehearsed the movie with him." In fact, Robinson has internalized Ferrell's NASCAR spoof to the point that he ends post-game interviews with "shake 'n' bake" -- Ricky Bobby's signature phrase.

Robinson played one of the best games of his career in front of Ferrell, scoring 41 points in a 123-119 win, and engaged his idol in the most memorable player-celebrity high jinks the Garden has seen since Reggie Miller and Spike Lee's rancorous feud in the 1994 playoffs. After burying a three-pointer while being knocked down by Pacer Stephen Graham, Robinson bounced to his feet and walked to Ferrell for a fist bump, then drilled a free throw to complete the play. Later in the quarter, after draining a three from the corner, Robinson sprinted up the sideline for another hand slap with Ferrell before finding his man on defense. After the win, as a token of his appreciation, Robinson handed Ferrell the autographed green jersey he'd worn during the dunk contest.

Weeks after Ferrell's visit, Robinson was still giddy. "That game, I knew I gotta play probably my best game of my NBA career," he told me. "I got a picture on my phone -- my screen saver -- of me and him shaking and baking. That was like my ultimate highlight since I've been in the NBA."

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler NBAE/Getty Images)