Knicks center Mitchell Robinson dazzled the coaching staff with his knack for blocking 3-point shots during his rookie season. Among all of the rookie shot-blocking and field-goal percentage records he set, Robinson also led the NBA with 24 blocked 3-pointers.
Now the goal for 2019-20 is for Robinson to launch his own 3-point shots. Robinson didn’t take a 3-pointer this season. He only took three jump shots, missing all of them, the last one a shaky near-airball from 14 feet a week ago in Chicago.
“I want to shoot 3s next year,’’ Robinson said after the Knicks’ season finale last week. “That’s not the No. 1 focus [but] really to get stronger, work on my post moves. And then when it gets close to summer league [in July], start bringing in that jump shot.’’
This is a mammoth offseason for the once-project center out of Louisiana. If Robinson has been steady and coachable, his attempt at building an off-the-court team around him has been transitory.
Robinson, 21, is already on his fourth agent since dropping out of Western Kentucky. He let go of his full-time personal trainer Marcell Scott at the All-Star break after he had moved from New Orleans to New York to work with him.
Robinson’s first agent was David Lee and he moved on to Raymond Brothers, who took the blame for his falling out of the draft’s first round. Robinson then enlisted John Spencer, the respected agent of teammate Lance Thomas.
That lasted only a couple of months before Spencer was bounced. CAA went after Robinson but after a six-month process, he recently hired Mayar Zokaei, a former sportswriter for the L.A. Times who is active in promoting his new client on Twitter. He’s now coordinating Robinson’s busy offseason itinerary.
Robinson returned to Chalmette, La. last week but will be back in Manhattan on Wednesday to participate in the NBA’s “Principal for a Day’’ program in which he will visit schools in the borough. Robinson will also be back in New York next week to sign autographs and meet fans at the NBA Store — which shows how far he’s come from training camp when he was known most for his quiet nature..
Robinson will also run five basketball camps — in New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles.
Other than fishing for largemouth bass in the swamps of Louisiana, which he plans to do with Thomas, Robinson doesn’t have many additional hobbies other than basketball.
On Tuesday, Robinson will have a workout reunion with his former trainer Scott, Anthony Davis’ guy who worked with him leading into the draft. Robinson had decided to withdraw from Western Kentucky last summer to train just for the draft.
According to Zokaei, Robinson still has to decide who will help with the bulk of his training and where he will make his home base. The options include Dallas, where he worked with another trainer briefly last winter, New York and New Orleans. Zokaei hopes Scott will have Robinson work some with Davis in New Orleans as they did last year.
Zokaei said Robinson’s NBA role model is Davis. The agent recently reminded him Davis shot five 3-pointers as a rookie.
“And now he’s sort of a model for a stretch 5,’’ Zokaei said.
Scott was let go by Robinson only days after a story in The Post quoted him as saying the coaching staff should run more plays to experiment with his jump shooting. Robinson denied to The Post his trainer’s dismissal was related to his comments.
Coach David Fizdale never got to that point with Robinson.
“They know what they’re doing with him,’’ Zokaei said. “If they want him to carry a lunch pail, he’ll do that.’’
Robinson’s high school coach, Butch Stockton, attended the Knicks-Rockets game in Houston 10 days ago and reminisced about his prodigy being a decent 3-point shooter. But Stockton admitted shot-blocking is Robinson’s thing.
“It just turns him on,’’ Stockton said.
His improvement with free-throw shooting, Robinson believes, is a good sign. “I shot [3-pointers] in practice a little bit,’’ Robinson said. “That’s just to mess around. Now I see what I learned in today’s game, there ain’t no centers really. Everybody’s out there shooting 3s.Big men shooting 3s. Putting it on the floor. I’ve got to add that to my game.” “I’m pretty sure I’m going to do that with LT,’’ Robinson said. “That’s really it and play basketball. That’s all we’ve got.”
It will be a summer of shooting 3s and fishing for largemouth bass.
Published at Tue, 16 Apr 2019 05:57:05 +0000