James Johnson’s Gym Monsters | Houseguest With Nate Robinson | The Players’ Tribune

James Johnson’s Gym Monsters | Houseguest With Nate Robinson | The Players’ Tribune


– So what kinda dog is that? – Cane Corsos, two of ’em. – Should I climb this tree first? – Nah. Nah, we good over here! Come meet ’em. – No. I don’t think I’m good, so I’m gonna sit up here and wait. – Look what y’all got Nate doin’, man? – I’mma sit up here. – You finally made it, baby! – I feel like if you could
drop in from the pyramid…. – Yeah. – … that’s an accomplishment. – If I don’t get this
I’m spending the night. Forever. – It’s my favorite room in the house. – “Houseguest.” We out here. If I could pull up on my boy JJ. Get this workout in. Gotta get these juices flowin’, man, this energy. Whoo. Yeah. – Yuup! – What’s up? What’s up?
What’s up? What’s up? – What up? – How you doin’, my bro! – What’s up, man? I’m tryin’ to follow you around, you gotta show me around. – Yeah. Want to see some of the art pieces? – Of course. I love art. – This is my man Vic, man. He did this piece for me –
just all my cartoons, man, all the cartoons I grew up
watching as a kid, and…. – Right. – … you know, I haven’t
got a chance to place it yet. – Johnny Bravo, Batman, you got Pebbles and
Bamm-Bamm, Doug Funnie…. This is lit! – My uncle is a pencil sketcher
and he did this for me. – Oh wow, man. I’m gonna have to tell Unc’ he gonna have to bless
me with one of these. – Yeah, absolutely. – Brother, I’mma have to get one of these. – He’d be happy to make
you one, you know that. You always one of my favorites. – Wow. Talented, man. Very, very talented, man. – Yeah, absolutely. This one is dear to me, man. It’s not coming out of that case until I get a nice frame, until I
get the right frame for it. – So can you draw? Since you like art, your uncle can draw, can you get down? – Ah, you know, mentally I
think I can do everything. But when I really put the pencil
and paper in front of me…. – It’s not … nothing comes out? – Yeah! Nothing worth stopping at! – Stick figures? ‘Cause that’s what I do. I’m a stick-figure drawer. I’m the best! I can draw a mean stick figure! – We might have to challenge on that. My stick figures almost look real! – I want to know about this MMA, man. – Oh yeah. – This training in martial
arts that you do…. – Aw man, it was just growin’
up, you know, my father was very adamant about that.
Like our whole family was in it – it wasn’t just
one or two of us, you know. He prepared us to be
soldiers at a young age. So, you know, we took a
liking to it just like he did. And, you know, it’s just been
the discipline ever since. – Yeah, so tell me about the pool, baby. – Yeah, the pool, man! The vibe is always real
out here. You know? We got people coming,
teammates bring their kids over and all that, man. It’s just a blessing to be
able to have something, yeah. – Yeah, real nice. So, question, man. Guys that don’t know like
… say guys that don’t know about you in the league,
and they foul you hard, and they get in a tussle…. – Right. – Is there any deal like
… do you warn them before? Or you just give them a look? Or are they just…? – Nah, I’m no bully. – I’m not sayin’ that. – I’m no bully. I like that. You know, as a competitor, you appreciate other competitors, and not being afraid to compete, and things like that, so…. That, in the back of my mind, knowing that they don’t
really want to fight, knowing they really don’t
want to rumble, man. – Yeah, yeah. You ain’t playin’ fair. That’s good, though. They don’t know that! – I’m not sayin’ I’m the toughest guy. You know, we got guys like you
that came through the league. Oakley. We got real ones that come in and mix in with that little group, but…. You know, I think that’s the
best thing about the NBA. You gotta kinda balance the silver spoons and the ones that didn’t. – Grit. Yeah, right, right. – That’s what makes a good team to me. – Well, I’m excited to
see this chill, man. – You gotta come check on my dogs first. – Oh, let me see. Hold on, you got some
Chihuahuas like me back here? Or you got pits? – Nah, I got two Cane Corsos. – Aw, no! – They only speak Arabic, man! They militant. If I let ’em out, they’ll
sit and won’t move until I tell ’em another command. – Oh wow. I see you got ’em caged up. So should I climb this tree first? – Nah. – Oh, yeah, let me climb
this tree first ’cause…. – Nah, we good over here. Come meet ’em! – No. I don’t think I’m good. I’mma sit up here and wait. – Look what y’all got Nate doing, man? – O.K., you gonna let ’em out? – Nah, I ain’t gonna let ’em out. – Yeah, don’t let ’em out. Y’all see me? Look, I’m on the highest safe ground! How’d you stumble upon some
militant dogs like that? – My wife is from Lebanon. And, you know, it was a
big thing for me to have my kids being able to speak that language, and understand their
mom and their grandma, and things like that. You know, my mother is
Samoan. She’s from Samoa. And it was tough growing up. You didn’t really understand what your grandparents were saying, and other family members were saying. So you’re kinda lost. And so this time I didn’t want to be lost, I didn’t want my kids to be lost. So it was just an easier
way for me to learn, was to speak to my dogs. – Tell me about this gym, my guy. – Gym is my sanctuary, brother. It’s my comfort zone, my happy place. This gym is probably the best
investment I’ve made out of, you know, my whole career, my whole life. You know, I love it. So many gyms are dull. – What are these? So what’s this? This is the same artist that
did the stuff out there? – Yep, Vic did all this. The same artist that you saw a couple of his
pieces inside the house – he did all this. – And so he’s a workout monster? – Workout monster, we
call him gym monster. – Gym monster? – You gotta work out to get that, though. – So do I get to work out today so I can get me a gym monster? – Yeah! Let’s get you a monster, man! – I want my monster, bro! – Let’s get you a monster! – So what’s this right here? – It’s the X3. This one … little
quick-hittin’ upper, you know. – Yeah? So it goes around me here? – Yep, exactly. Let me get it straight
for you, right there. So now you just … let
me get 20 push-outs. There you go. We’ll get him a gym monster, y’all! I gotta record this. This is history for me! This is history for my gym! Yeah, get a little closer. There you go. Now lean back on it. There you go. We ’bout to get him a gym monster! – I’m gettin’ a gym monster. This is for my gym monster, guys. I’m always down to work hard. You feel me? How many of these? – Twenty. Once you get done with that, hold it. – … 18, 19…. – Hold it. Now, quick punch right
here, back and forth. There you go. There you go. Come on. Snarf. Hey, man. This is an honor for me, man. For real, this is crazy. – Fifteen. – You did 20 of them? – Twenty of them. – Yeah. Now we got 10 pull-ups and that’s through. That’s the upper! – That’s sweet! – You like that? – I see got the little … the dope-ass Ninja Turtles tattoo. – Oh yeah, c’mon, I’m a Raph guy. – So mine, I got all four of ’em. – Oh yeah? – All four of ’em, man. – Oh! You stormy! – It was painful, but it’s worth it from the childhood memories. – Oh yeah! Yeah. One more. Set. – Hoo. – Gym monster, done! ‘Bout to call my man right now! – Get my gym monster. Y’all see this work? Ladies? You see them abs? – Wow! – It’s the real … real deal. – I couldn’t picture nobody else better for finishing my work. – Hell yeah! – I make that road to hurt. – That’s what’s up, sweet. – Oh my God, bro! That’s sick, bro. – So, is working hard, how your dad implemented in your life…. Is that something you’re gonna do? Are you gonna implement that
in your children’s life? – I won’t … I don’t think- – Or do you want them to just kind of find their way into they gym? – Nah. To me it was never what
he implemented, you know. To get respect, to earn respect, you know, that was always
what it was to him, man. He taught us how to hold our head up high. But as far as my sons go, and
things like that, like…. If you start something I’m
gonna make sure you finish it. Exactly. You know, after we find
their own way, you know, be who they want to be. – That’s how it was for my family. My father always taught me…. He told me that it’s O.K. to be a copycat, just as long as you copy the right cat. – Hmm! – So he taught me that and I was like, “S***, I want
to be like Michael Jordan when I grow up.” – Yeah! – So I’m like … all my dreams and everything came from watching the man that grinded, that worked hard. And then I got a glimpse of Allen Iverson. He taught me how to be
myself, no matter what. – Coming from the fan that I am of you, what’s your mindset going into games? What gives you your confidence? What gets you going? – Pretty much, I try to
get myself going sometimes. I feel like, you know, self-motivation is sometimes
the best motivation you need. And for me, being a little guy, I’m always against the 8 ball. So it’s like anything that I do is always gonna be a plus
if I come out on top. You know what I’m sayin’? – Hmm. – If I fail, they expect me to fail. But, at the end of the day, like I have nothing to lose
but everything to gain. That’s how I look at it. – Yeah, you’re the definition of heart over height, for sure. – Appreciate that, bro. Man, I gotta step my game up and get some gym monsters now, man. In my garage, I got this wallpaper that I got when I was with the Bulls, me and Jimmy Butler. And I put Jimmy on there because Jimmy is the only
person to beat me one-on-one. He’s the only person I’ve
never beat one-on-one. And I put Jimmy on my
wall and he signed it. So it’s pretty cool. – That’s fine, yeah. I’m gonna have to go over there! – Gym monster is a great idea. – You’ll have to come
over and play one-on-one. – Yeah, I’m gonna have to get him now! – We gotta play one-on-one
so you can get on the wall. – I’m gonna make that wall! – You know what I’m sayin’? – I will make that wall! – I love it, bro. Appreciate it, man. – Oh yeah. – Thank you. – They honor’s mine. Word. It’s my sanctuary, too. – And every time I’m in
Miami I’ll hit you up. I’ll be like, “Bro, can I come work out?” – Yeah! – “I’m trying to come see my monster.” Work out in front of my monster while I get on this little…. You know what I’m sayin’? – If you gotta call me
for the workout, man? Dude, we ain’t as close as we thought. – Man, I’m coming to work out, come chill. – You pull up, you always welcome. – I appreciate that. Thank
you, man. Word, word. I appreciate that, dog. – So I got a question. You want it dunking over
Dwight? Or not over…? – However you want. You’re the artist here, so however you want to do my monster, I just want to see it up there. – I don’t wanna insult Dwight, though! – Man, forget Dwight, man! – Dwight? – He’s good wherever he is! – All right, let’s go. – You draw how you want! – O.K., O.K.