Nate Robinson, Lionel Messi

How important is the number on the jersey? Probably not so much, but it depends on the player. Nate Robinson, who has been a 2, 3, and 4 in his 8-year NBA career is now moving on to double digits and taking the no. 10 jersey due to his love for Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi, who Robinson feels great love for thanks to EA Sports’ FIFA video games.

Robinson finds that their short stature (Messi is 5’7) is something they have in common, and feels some sort of link with the player most regard as the best in the world, winning four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards, the highest individual award in world soccer.

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. 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.

Is Robinson the best “little guy” in the NBA? Depends on where you draw your limits. His arrival in Denver adds another guard who can put up a lot of points, but the departure of Andre Iguodala means that their defense is going to take a hit, and it’ll be once again about simply outscoring and outgunning their opponents, which fits quite well with Robinson’s style.

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