Nate Robinson was the butt of jokes from NBA personalities and fans alike after getting knocked out by YouTuber Jake Paul on the end of his boxing debut this past Saturday.
Robinson, one of the more athletic players of yesteryear and a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, was no match for Paul, who floored him three times in the span of two minutes.
Lillard, though, has said he respects Robinson for having the gall to get in the ring.
“I think what he did was bold,” the Portland Trail Blazers superstar said on a conference call this week, per USA Today. “He got in the ring. A lot of the people don’t got the nuts to do it. So respect to him for doing it.”
Lilard claimed to have a different view to most when it comes to boxing because he watches it a lot and is a ware of what goes on behind the scenes.
“You go into a fight and all it takes is one punch. Anything can happen,” he continued. “On one side you got to respect fighters. Respect the sport. Let fighters fight. Some of them train their whole life to be fighters. Some of them, that is all they do. They’re in the gym sparring. They’re in the gym working on their footwork, and they jab and they hook and they uppercut and absorbing punches and keeping their necks strong and keeping their chins right. That’s what they do. I think it was a bold move by him.
“Everybody is making a big thing out of it because it was Nate Robinson. But people get knocked out in in the boxing gym every day. They’re a part of that sport. He chose to participate in that sport. He just came up on the wrong end of it. I watch boxing so much that I don’t view it the same way everybody else does because I know that’s part of the fight game.”