Thomas Robinson, is a young man who has been plagued by misfortune in recent years, with the death of his mother and grandparents happening within weeks of each other while he was in college.
His NBA career was supposed to be the start of something new and exciting, but was the exact opposite as the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft struggled to assert himself and has already been traded twice.
In a story courtesy of Ben Golliver of SB Nation via Gary Bedore of KUSports.com, the former Kansas Jayhawks forward, spoke about the roller-coaster ride he experienced in his first season and the feeling of finally being wanted by the Portland Trailblazers.
“It’s a unique situation, but unique things tend to happen to me,” the 22-year-old Robinson added Sunday at Bill Self’s Basketball Pro Camp in Allen Fieldhouse. “It feels like I’ve been in the league five years already. It’s only been one. It’s a good thing. It’s matured me as a player, matured me as a person. It humbled me a lot.”
“I talked to (KU) coach Self a couple times this year, more than a couple actually,” Robinson said. “He constantly told me the same thing he told me when I struggled before my junior year – just be a rebounder. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Robinson said he’s motivated to play for the Blazers, who have made it clear he’s somebody the front office values.
“I feel wanted there, which is a good thing,” Robinson said. “They are young, especially with the main core guys, so I will try to go in there, find a spot to help the team. For them to come in and make me feel like it’s home for me is definitely a big deal.”
Trailblazers general manager Neil Olshey, thinks very highly of the 22-year-old, and says that the organization has made it a priority to see that he realizes his potential.
“Thomas is a dynamic young big man with tremendous upside,” said Olshey. “He is an elite athlete and brings a unique set of physical tools to our roster. He has the potential to be one of the best young power forwards in the league and his development will be a priority for us.”
I fully expect Robinson to go on and do good things in the league, he has shown the ability to overcome adversity in the past, and he’ll do it again.