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Three-time NBA Slam Dunk champ Nate Robinson shares health update: ‘Don’t have long if I can’t get a kidney’

Former NBA guard Nate Robinson, who rose to prominence by winning multiple NBA Slam Dunk titles, is in need of a potentially life-saving organ transplant. 

Robinson, who has been dealing with kidney failure for several years, revealed that he “doesn’t have long to live,” if he does not receive a new kidney. In 2021, Robinson said he decided to share his personal health battle so he could “be the voice for all those who are having trouble speaking about this illness, and come together for a greater cause: our health.”

This week, Robinson said his search for a new kidney continues.

“I know that I don’t have long if I can’t get a kidney,” Robinson told Mail Sport. “I know I’m not going to have long to live. So I just want to make the best of it as much as I can.

Robinson said he goes through dialysis on a daily basis.

“Some people’s body reject dialysis. And thank God that mine accepts it and I can live… if I didn’t go to dialysis, I wouldn’t live probably longer than a week or two. So it’s serious, can’t miss a day. I go in for four hours, three days a week, four hours a day. And they clean my blood to get my toxins out. And they help me out a lot because that’s how I’m living.”


Robinson also said his health situation has helped him develop a new perspective.

“I just thank God for every opportunity that’s happened in my life. Even with these kidneys situations, because it’s gotten me to slow down a lot, where I can take time to appreciate life itself,” Robinson said during a recent sit down with Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller on the “The OGs” podcast.


“You know dealing with this situation with my kidneys man, it’s opened my eyes to where you know I can talk about it and help others. If I was a high school kid going through something like this, it would be scary, and I wouldn’t know how to cope or deal with something like this… you know I can be somebody’s reason to keep fighting and keep going.”

Nate Robinson on the basketball court

Robinson said he sometimes experiences bouts of painful vomiting due to the treatment. At times, he is even hospitalized. Robinson closely monitors the food he consumes, and maintaining a proper diet greatly impacts how his body feels on a day in and day out basis.

During a 2022 interview with Playmaker, Robinson revealed that in 2006 he learned high blood pressure had negatively affected his kidneys. Robinson was playing for the New York Knicks at the time.

Nate Robinson dunks

“They used to tell me that we’re going to have to check your blood pressure and if your blood pressure is too high, you can’t play in the game. I used to tell them, ‘Don’t check my blood pressure because I am playing regardless of what you say,’” said Robinson. “I thought I was young and invincible. I didn’t know it was going to catch up to me.”

Robison spent 11 seasons playing in the NBA, appearing in games for eight different teams along the way. Despite his 5-feet, 9-inch stature, Robison quickly developed a reputation for his prolific dunks.

He earned the slam dunk contest crown in 2006, 2009, and 2010. He played for the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2015-16 season and later spent time in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, the G League’s Delaware 87ers, and Guaros de Lara in Venezuela.

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