There must have been so many times when Robinson believed he'd never get this chance—times when his back ached so badly he couldn't bend over to brush his teeth; when teammates he'd grown to admire were shipped out, only to come back and beat the Spurs like rented mules; when a 62-20 season would go up in the smoke of a Dennis Rodman playoff flake-out. "There've been times when I said, 'Maybe this is not what the Lord meant for me,' " he says, "but that's what's great about faith. You don't spend all your time worrying about it. I mean, who am I?"
Who is Robinson? A lot of San Antonio families think Robinson is somebody pretty cool. Eight years ago Robinson promised 91 fifth-graders at Gates Elementary that if they made it through the 12th grade, he'd pay $2,000 toward their college tuition or hair-dressing school. About 50 of them graduated from high school last year, and Robinson attended the commencement ceremony for 25 of them at Sam Houston High. "People say I've given them this, but, really, these kids have given me a lot more," he says. "I went to that graduation, and I felt like a dad to 25 kids! How cool is that?"
That's just a spoonful of the seeds he has sewn. He also feeds the homeless through his Feed My Sheep program. He helps needy families get diapers and baby food through The Ruth Project. "These aren't sacrifices for me," he says. "If I'm clutching on to my money with both hands, how can I be free to hug my wife and kids?"
If there is such a thing as karma in this world, Robinson will have to let go of that clinch with his wife and kids and put a serious bear hug on the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Don't you love it when the good guy wins?
Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled mayhem.