Jul 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Portland Trailblazers forward Thomas Robinson ducks into a seam in the Los Angeles Lakers defense during an NBA Summer League game at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
For former Kansas star Thomas Robinson, his life in the NBA has been one that he probably never though would happen. Robinson, the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, is already on his third team, the victim of two cost-cutting moves. After being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, he was traded midseason to the Houston Rockets to help the Maloof family save money. On June 30, he was traded to the Trail Blazers so the Rockets could free up the last of the cap space they needed to sign Dwight Howard.
Now in Las Vegas playing with the Trail Blazers summer league team, he is hoping that his stop in Portland will be his last and that he is excited to be in the city, as he told USA Today.
“I’m excited to be here,” he told USA TODAY Sports. “They’ve welcomed me and made me feel comfortable.”
Not sure if any of you have had the chance to watch Robinson play at the Las Vegas Summer League, on NBA TV, or on your special device, this 21-year old shows that he has the skills and what it takes to play in this league.
I am a Thomas Robinson fan. When he was at Kansas, I watched him play, with his passion and work ethic, you just knew that he was bound for something great. Then you hear the type of person that he is. Carrying for his sister, raising her, being her parent. At his age, he knew that he had to make a jump to the NBA, to continue his career, but most importantly, needing the money to help raise his sister.
Jul 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Portland Trailblazers forward Thomas Robinson splits the defense of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lester Hudson and Center Robert Sacre during the first quarter of an NBA Summer League game at the Thomas and Mack center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Watching a game on Monday night, Robinson set a record for most rebounds in a game with 22. Tuesday night, he followed that up with another outstanding performance, 18 rebounds to go along with his 12 points.
In Portland he may not become their starter as he would be playing behind LaMarcus Aldridge. But as Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts tells USA Today, he will have an opportunity to earn those minutes.
via USA Today,
“LaMarcus is obviously our starting power forward, so (Robinson’s) minutes will be coming off the bench,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts told USA TODAY Sports. “But he’ll have an opportunity to earn those minutes. His primary position is power forward, but I could envision playing him with LaMarcus or Robin or Meyers (Leonard). We have a lot of players who can play a couple of positions, so I think we’ll see him play alongside different people.”
He has shown that he is the same player that he was while at Kansas. One thing that looks to be different about Robinson is that he has bulked up since then, not a surprise.
Watching his last few games, you can tell that he is out to prove to the Blazers that he is one player they want to keep and that he will put in the work that needs to be done in order to help this team win.
Though the Blazers lost their summer league game in overtime against the Chicago Bulls, Robinson continued to play until that final buzzer sounded.
I respect that in a player.