Robinson: Won't play victim, here to attack
LAS VEGAS – Obviously Thomas Robinson's NBA journey has been well-documented by now. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft is on his third NBA roster in a year.
The Portland Trail Blazers are the latest team to procure the forward's rights in the hopes that they can push the right buttons in order for him to reach his full God-given potential.
Last week during Summer League play in Las Vegas, you could see the imaginable from the 6-10 specimen. In five games, Robinson averaged 10.4 points, 12.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 28.6 minutes a game.
He finished third in the league in rebounds and set a franchise Summer League record with 18 boards pulled down in a 80-78 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls, breaking Jeff Pendergraph's record of 14 in 2010.
Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, a former teammate of Robinson in Houston, warns the league not to sleep on the kid.
“He's a beast, man. The league better get ready,” Harden told CSNNW.com. “He knows what his job is, he knows what he's great at and he does it to the best of his ability. T-Rob is a very hard worker, an excellent rebounder and he's definitely skilled for someone of his size. I have no doubt about it that he'll turn his career around in Portland.”
That's some high praise coming from someone who knows a thing or two about turning careers and franchises around.
Unlike his stops in Sacramento and Houston, Portland will provide Robinson with every opportunity conceivable to maximize his skill-set. The organization is dedicated to the growth of his development.
Some areas Robinson needs to clean up are finishing around the basket in traffic, and knocking down the mid-range jumper with regularity. Despite his stellar double-double Summer League numbers, he shot a poor 37 percent from the field.
If those flaws are rectified, he will most certainly be a force on the Trail Blazers' improved second unit that features rookie standout CJ McCollum and swingman Dorell Wright.
Robinson's physical tools alone should keep him in the league for years. However, if he can put his physicality to use on a consistent basis, 10 years from now, we may have forgotten all about his rookie season.
That's why Harden is confident Robinson will have a long, prosperous NBA career.
“Oh he'll definitely stick in this league,” Harden said. “He has a great chance. He has so much upside. That motivates him, other teams giving up on him. He has the chance to do something special and I believe he'll get it done.”
And Robinson concurs.
“I feel good right now,” Robinson said. “It's important to head into training camp with the right mindset. I got my mojo back and now I'm looking forward to next season.”