Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Thomas Robinson (0) drives the lane defended by Kentucky Wildcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) during the first half of the finals in the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
WASHINGTON -- Fellow Wizards fans, Thomas Robinson is just like you. Well, not exactly like you, because you probably aren't 6'9'' with burly shoulders that look like ones you might see on a middle linebacker. But just like you, Robinson rooted for two local figures that inspired much joy in their heyday, but also much anger with their downfall.
"Gilbert [Arenas], when I was younger," Robinson, a D.C. native, said when asked about his favorite player growing up. "Of course, when we had [Michael] Jordan for a little bit of time. That was pretty cool."
Clearly, Robinson's Wizards fandom is serious. How else do you explain the Kansas star dropping a "we" reference when talking about the franchise? But Robinson is also serious about wanting to return here for his professional career, and he's willing to deal with all the distractions that come from playing in his hometown.
"It was [an issue] going into college, but I was younger then," Robinson said when asked about those distractions. "I feel like I'm much more mature now than I was going into college."
This is not the first time Robinson said he wanted to play for the Wizards, but it was one of the most emphatic. When asked to describe his feelings on being able to work out for the franchise he grew up following, he called it a "dream come true." So, yeah, he's being pretty transparent about this whole thing.
Will it happen? It remains to be seen, but Robinson himself seemed at ease going through the motions with the media and the Wizards' coaching staff, at least in the brief amount of time we were able to actually see the workout. He compared the workout to a normal practice he might have if he was already a member of the Wizards, using the word "comfortable" several times. It'll be interesting to see if the Wizards felt the same way.
Other notes and quotes after the jump:
- For those asking me how I thought Robinson looked, I can't really say. We saw him do one drill where he had to sprint full-court, take a pass from a coach and shoot an 18-foot jumper. I counted five misses before he got to his fourth make. That's literally the only thing we saw him do. When Robinson himself was asked how it went, he said his shooting "didn't look as pretty as I wanted it too," but his "energy level was good."
- Robinson made waves at the Chicago pre-draft combine when he said that, if people went by numbers, he'd be the number one pick in the draft. When asked about that quote today, Robinson stood by it. "I think I'm the best player in the draft, as far as being prepared for the league. That's just me being a competitor," he said. "I'm not taking anything from Anthony Davis. He's a great player. At the same time, I want to compete, so I do feel I am [the best]."
- Robinson's jump shot appears to be a focus of his as he prepares for the draft, even if he didn't want to admit it. He said he is shooting 1,000 jumpers a day in an attempt to improve his floor game. "I just want to keep playing my game. That's what got me here, and it's what's going to keep me here," he said when asked if his jumper was a point of emphasis for him in these workout. "But if I can hit an open shot, that'll help once I get into the league. ...That's not the main focus of my game, but if the ball is thrown to me and I'm open, I want to be able to hit the shot."
- I asked Robinson what element of his game he felt wasn't showcased in college. "I'll be able to show I'm a lot better player in the open floor, on the break, being able to finish, instead of in college, where I just ran straight to the rim," he said. "I'm able to do more things with the ball away from the basket. I don't want to focus on that, but I have the ability to. In most places in the league, I'll be able to show that."
- I also asked him about the common criticism that he has trouble finishing against long, athletic players inside. Here, he was defiant in his response. "I don't think I have trouble finishing around the basket," he said. "I probably had a bad game against a couple guys where I missed a couple layups, but I think the ratio of me finishing and missing is a big one."
- Robinson said he has yet to schedule any other workouts, but I'm sure this one won't be his last.