Since the 2008-2009 season, Cal. State Fullerton alumnusFrank Robinson has been patiently chasing his NBA dream. After a stint with the Atlanta Hawks' '08-'09 team, Robinson took his talents overseas to Slovenia and Germany before returning to Philips Arena the very next season.
The California native played pre-season ball with the Hawks but spent the remainder of the year as a starter for the D-League's Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Now, after last participating in the 2010 NBA Summer League with the D-Fenders and back-to-back seasons in Israel, Robinson is back on Las Vegas' hardwood where he joins the Golden State Warriors' summer squad and will debut against the Los Angeles Lakers on July 13th, at the COX Pavilion Arena on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Though several NBA organization tried to recruit Robinson for summer league workouts, he is convinced the Warriors are the best fit. "Being invited to play for the Warriors was unexpected but I am grateful for the invitation and plan on taking full advantage of the platform to show my improvements from the last couple of years in Israel," said Robinson via email interview.
The 6-4 explosive guard, who clinched Defensive Player of the Year honors in two different continents plans to utilize his athletic defensive abilities and standout. "It is no secret that I am known for my defensive game. Knowing coach (Mark) Jackson is a guy who takes pride in his team's defense and smart basketball, I hope I can adjust to what he wants and earn minutes on this summer league team," Robinson added.
Robinson, who first entered the summer league scenes four seasons ago is determined that he has improved over the years and elevated his game to the NBA level. "It's been a couple years since I worked with the Hawks and this time I feel like I have matured into a player and person off the court that can help teams win," said Robinson.
He took his training back to the basics while running tracks and hills at 06:00 on a daily basis, and putting in extra gym hours to work on his game with Eugene 'Pooh' Jeter, Brandon Heath, Joe Crawford and Horace Wormely, helping each other prepare for the future. "The idea was to do the things that got me to this point, and I owe it to Joe for talking to me and keeping me motivated everyday," he said.
Robinson is coming off successful seasons in Israel with Maccabi Haifa and B.C. Habikaa recording professional career highs in steals (2.4), rebounds (5.5) and assists (2.3) per game, and believes the years abroad better prepared him for the NBA process this time around.
"Coming in as a first year guy you think it's all about scoring, but the reality is that teams want guys to come in and be able to adjust to their main players and help them with the little things like hitting open shots, guarding the opposing teams' best player and making it difficult for him to score. That, and making plays without the ball is what will keep you on a roster for guys in my position," said Robinson.
He takes pride in being a graduate of the mid-major program at Cal. State Fullerton and is entertained by the unique opportunity of being in Las Vegas along with two of his college teammates. "No one would have expect for Cal. State Fullerton to have three players (Josh Akognon, Bobby Brown and myself) from the same team playing in the summer league," he said.
"Josh (Sacramento Kings) has been one of the top players in China and this year hopes to make his debut in the NBA. Bobby (Toronto Raptors) has two NBA seasons under his belt and has a great chance of making an NBA roster. I'm happy the three of us can share this moment, and I pray that we all have successful showings," Robinson said.
In preparation for the summer league, Robinson spent the last few weeks working out in Los Angeles while playing for team 'Top Prospects' of the internationally recognized Drew League. "Coached by John and associate head coach 'Big Guard Rob', It was important for me to re-connect with all my childhood friends and play and train together," he said.
Regarding his upcoming challenge Robinson said, "The goal? Obviously to play well enough to earn a guaranteed contract or even a non-guaranteed for that matter. I would not be going (to Las Vegas) if I didn't feel that I was ready to accomplish that at this point in my career."
James, Cavs snap 3-game skid with 116-112 win over Raptors - 10 hours ago
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The Cleveland Cavaliers lost J.R. Smith to a left knee injury early in the game, though LeBron James wouldn't allow his team to let up on the Toronto Raptors one bit. James scored a season-high 34 points as the Cavaliers broke a three-game losing streak with a 116-112 victory on Monday night. It was their third straight victory this season over the Raptors, the team they beat on their way to the championship in last year's Eastern Conference finals. "Next man up," he said. "It's always be... [read more]
The Cleveland Cavaliers lost J.R. Smith to a left knee injury early in the game, though LeBron James wouldn't allow his team to let up on the Toronto Raptors one bit. James scored a season-high 34 points as the Cavaliers broke a three-game losing streak with a 116-112 victory on Monday night. It was their third straight victory this season over the Raptors, the team they beat on their way to the championship in last year's Eastern Conference finals. "Next man up," he said. "It's always been our mindset; obviously we hope the MRI's come back positive with J.R.'s injury, so it's next man up and guys have to be able to fulfill that." Smith injured his left knee in the first quarter after landing on a jump shot and hobbled to the dressing room in considerable pain. He did not return, and the Cavaliers said X-rays taken at the arena were negative and that the guard would return to Cleveland on Tuesday for further examination. Coach Tyronn Lue said he was "not sure on what it is," with regards to the precise nature of Smith's knee injury. Kevin Love (6'10''-PF-88, college: UCLA) had 28 points and 14 rebounds for his team-leading 13th double-double of the season and his third straight against the Raptors. Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) added 24 points, his career-high 10th straight game with at least 20. Canadian Tristan Thompson (6'9''-F-91, college: Texas) chipped in with a season high-equaling 14 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) had 31 points and Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) added 24 for Toronto, which had its six-game winning streak snapped. For Irving, winning the season series, and gaining the tiebreaker, over Toronto is something to celebrate, particularly when it also ended the Cavs' skid. "We know we are going to get their best shot all the time," he said. "We compete at a high level against one another, so it's great to come here or them come to Cleveland. It always comes down to basically the last two or three minutes." Monday's game was no different. Cleveland seized control of the game in the third quarter with a 23-11 run, turning a one-point halftime edge into a 13-point lead on Love's sixth 3-pointer of the game with 3:35 to play in the quarter. The Cavs eventually took a 90-81 advantage into the fourth. A turnaround jump shot from DeRozan with 24 seconds remaining closed the gap to five, and he followed that up with a 3-pointer 10 seconds later that looked to put the result in doubt, but after review he was ruled out of bounds. Love then made a pair of free throws. "They know how to win," DeRozan said. "Throughout the whole game they understand when they have to turn it up on both ends, so with that you can't put yourself in a hole deeper than what you are already in, especially against this team. You know they are the champions." Courtesy of: usatoday.com
Thompson scores 60 as Warriors beat Pacers 142-106 - 10 hours ago
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Klay Thompson (6'7''-G-90, college: Washington St.) had 60 points, an NBA season high and the most by a Golden State player in more than 42 years, as the Warriors whipped the Indiana Pacers 142-106 on Monday night. Thompson scored 40 by halftime in just 18-plus minutes. He had a career-best 60 points through three quarters and called it a night, sitting down with 1:22 left in the period as fans jumped to their feet for an extended ovation. Thompson joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain,... [read more]
Klay Thompson (6'7''-G-90, college: Washington St.) had 60 points, an NBA season high and the most by a Golden State player in more than 42 years, as the Warriors whipped the Indiana Pacers 142-106 on Monday night. Thompson scored 40 by halftime in just 18-plus minutes. He had a career-best 60 points through three quarters and called it a night, sitting down with 1:22 left in the period as fans jumped to their feet for an extended ovation. Thompson joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors to score 60 points in a game. Barry was the last to do so, going off for 64 on March 26, 1974, against Portland. Thompson shot 21 for 33 and 8 of 14 on 3-pointers - 15 of 22 with five 3s in the first two quarters - and converted 10 of 11 free throws in 29 minutes. Kevin Durant (6'9''-SF-88, college: Texas) added 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Golden State in another display of impressive passing. The Warriors' 15 first-quarter assists matched a club record and they wound up with 45 total - two off the franchise mark they set Nov. 24 against the Lakers. Courtesy of: ctvnews.ca
Westbrook's triple-double leads Thunder past Hawks, 102-99 - 10 hours ago
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At first, Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA) couldn't get the shots to fall. No problem. He crashed the boards and kept looking for his teammates. Then, he found his shooting touch. The result: another triple-double for the Oklahoma City star. Westbrook scored 32 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 12 assists, extending his streak of triple-doubles to six games as the Thunder held off the Atlanta Hawks 102-99 on Monday night. It is the NBA's longest such run since Micha... [read more]
At first, Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA) couldn't get the shots to fall. No problem. He crashed the boards and kept looking for his teammates. Then, he found his shooting touch. The result: another triple-double for the Oklahoma City star. Westbrook scored 32 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 12 assists, extending his streak of triple-doubles to six games as the Thunder held off the Atlanta Hawks 102-99 on Monday night. It is the NBA's longest such run since Michael Jordan had seven in a row in 1989. "I just read the game," Westbrook said. "The game will tell you what to do." Westbrook has sparked a six-game winning streak by the Thunder and reached double figures in all three categories in half of their 22 games. By contrast, Jordan had 15 triple-doubles for the entire 1988-89 season. "Obviously, the league hasn't seen something like this in a long, long time," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. Westbrook kept his streak alive with plenty of time to spare. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds when he picked up his 10th assist with 6:20 left in the third quarter. Scooping up a loose ball after a turnover by the Hawks, Westbrook led a 2-on-1 that ended with a pass to Victor Oladipo (6'4''-G-92, college: Indiana) for a layup that gave the Thunder a 69-59 lead. "My job is to find those guys," Westbrook said. He found his range in the third quarter after missing eight of his first nine shots. Westbrook knocked down five of seven, three of them beyond the arc, and finished with 16 points in the period as the Thunder stretched a one-point halftime lead to 83-69 heading to the fourth. Atlanta rallied down the stretch, but Westbrook closed it out for the Thunder. He finished with 27 second-half points to send the Hawks to their seventh straight loss and 10th defeat in the last 11 games. It's the longest losing streak for the Hawks since they dropped eight in a row in February 2014. Coach Mike Budenholzer decided to shake things up, sending Kyle Korver to the bench and putting Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup. The Hawks also were bolstered by the return of Paul Millsap (6'8''-F-85, college: Louisiana Tech), who had missed three straight games with a sore hip. He led five players in double figures with 24 points. It didn't matter. Westbrook made sure of that. "He can do so many different things," said Sefolosha, who was often matched on Westbrook. "It's definitely mind-blowing. And the way he does it. He's everywhere." Atlanta had a shot to send the game to overtime after Korver forced a jump ball. Westbrook and the Thunder clamped down defensively off the inbounds play, and Tim Hardaway Jr. (6'6''-G-92, college: Michigan) Jr.'s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer failed to hit the rim. "Can't dwell on it," Hardaway said. "I've got to move on to the next play, the next game." Courtesy of: auburnpub.com
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