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Former NBA star Nate Robinson: 'I know that I don't have long if I can't get a kidney'

Former NBA star Nate Robinson told Mail Sport that he "doesn't have long to live" nearly two years after announcing he was battling for kidney failure.

Robinson, 39, said in 2022 he had been dealing with renal kidney failure for four years and wanted "to 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 told Mail Sport he's still searching for a kidney.

"I know that I don't have long if I can't get a kidney," Robinson said. "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.

"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."

One side affect of regular treatment, Robinson said, is that he experiences painful vomiting, which leads to brief hospital stays. He also changed to a strict diet to help how he feels on a daily basis, which allows him to enjoy time with his family.

In an interview with Playmaker in Nov. 2022, Robinson said that while he was playing for the New York Knicks in 2006 he learned that high blood pressure had damaged his kidneys.

"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."

He was also told that his kidney function was slowly declining and would fail at some point in his thirties.

Robinson played 11 seasons in the NBA for eight different franchises, beginning his career with the Knicks in 2005 after a standout career at Washington. Coming in at 5-foot-9, Robinson quickly became a popular player thanks to his penchant for scoring, high effort level and highlight dunks.

That popularity reached a peak when Robinson won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest three times, first in 2006 then back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Robinson last played in the NBA for the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2015-16 season, but continued his basketball career with stints for Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel, the G League's Delaware 87ers and Guaros de Lara in Venezuela.

Robinson's kidneys failed in 2018, which led to his retirement. A dialysis machine has helped him keep going six years later.

"I don't take [life] for granted," Robinson said. "I just stay as humble as I can, and I just thank God for every opportunity... every day is a blessing to be alive and to be able to do what I do every day.

"Because some people, they go in for kidneys, go into the hospital, and they never come out."