How Glenn Robinson III is relishing shot at rejuvenation with Warriors

How Glenn Robinson III is relishing shot at rejuvenation with Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three months ago, Glenn Robinson III joined the Warriors in hopes of resurrecting his career. Along the way, he learned a unique way of achieving his goal.

During one of Robinson's first film sessions, Warriors coach Steve Kerr Kerr -- a disciple of eclectic Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson -- showed a football-centered video montage of free safeties getting burned on deep passes. 

"Steve was like, 'Y'all laughing but that's how we should feel if we get beat over the top," Robinson recalled following Friday's preseason win over the Los Angeles Lakers. "The first thing is to stop the ball." 

The tactic floored the six-year veteran.  

"No other coach has explained it that way," Robinson said. "It was a good way to get everybody to wake up. It was different and to a way we understand it."

For the last two weeks, Robinson has been one of the Warriors' biggest training-camp surprises. He earned the starting small-forward job following the expected departure of Alfonzo Mckinnie, and Robinson has impressed his new team. 

"Glenn is rock solid," Kerr said. "He understands his role, he understands it. He's a good three-point shooter."

Remnants of Robinson's training-camp performance were on display Friday. Less than a minute into the Warriors' 124-103 win, he received a no-look pass from D'Angelo Russell and hit a 3-pointer in front of the Warriors' bench. In the second quarter, Robinson hit another 3-pointer from the same spot. By the end of the night, he accumulated 13 points, six rebounds and two steals. 

The onset of Robinson's career has been defined by movement, as he played for three teams in his first three NBA seasons. He seemed to gain traction in Indiana, where he became a solid rotation player for the Pacers behind star forward Paul George. In 2016-17, Robinson shot 39 percent from 3-point range.

Over a three-year stretch with the Pacers, Robinson shot 45 percent from the field, including 39.3 percent from beyond the arc. 

However, after Robinson signed a two-year, $8.3 million contract with the Detroit Pistons in 2018, there was an expectation that the 25-year-old would take the next step. Those plans never came to fruition as Robinson averaged just 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from the field as injuries limited him to 47 games. 
Robinson continued to struggle even after a mid-season trade sent Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock out of town. On draft night, the Pistons agreed to trade for sharpshooter Tony Snell and selected Sekou Doumbouya, prompting them to decline Robinson's $4.3 million team option.

With his career in need of repair, he looked to the Western Conference, where the Warriors -- who lost Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala in a 48-hour span -- offered Robinson an opportunity most teams didn't: A chance to start on a team with playoff aspirations. 

"I've backed up Paul George, I've backed up a lot of guys in my time but here I had a unique situation," Robinson said. "I really wanted the opportunity to take that and show what I can do."

With the Warriors, Robinson is adjusting to a new culture, one less defined by rugged training camps and more by a player-friendly environment led by Kerr. 

"He gets that we don't need to be in here all day," Robinson told NBC Sports Bay Area. "It's about efficiency. So every other team I've had two-a-days, come back and you're tired and you're hurt. You can see how they're just smart about things." 

Kerr's need for efficiency nearly discouraged Robinson, long used to proving himself in rugged practices. But transition has helped Robinson, who averaged 8.8 points and four rebounds in five preseason games. 

"I really didn't know if they knew my whole game or what I could do because practices were so short at the beginning," Robinson said. "But as time came along, Steve told me he knew what I could do and he knew my game and he could see it from the camp. So I'm just glad it worked out the way it did and continue to get better." 

"He's got more to his game than I realized," Kerr added. "I always looked at him as a spot-up three-point guy but he's a good cutter. He understands our split game and our movement."

[RELATED: D-Lo shows glimpse of potential in preseason finale]

Now, with the season nearly underway and a starting spot in tow, Robinson is hopeful he can be a vital piece. 

So are the Warriors. 

"He's enjoying himself out there," Kerr said. "I'm really glad Glenn's here."

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Jordan Poole is in a shooting slump.

Over the first five games of the season, the Warriors rookie shot 38 percent (11-for-29) from beyond the arc.

But over his last nine appearances, Poole is at a dismal 18 percent (9-for-50) from deep, and just below 24 percent overall.

"Jordan is a young guy, he should be a junior in college and he should be coming into a situation where he's getting shots of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson; or playing behind those guys, learning from them every day in practice," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after practice Tuesday. "Maybe making an occasional visit to Santa Cruz to get a lot of playing time.

"That's how ideally you want to raise a young guy, but we don't have that luxury. So we're throwing him right into the fire. He's working his tail off. He's doing a great job.

"This league is unforgiving for a young player. He's just gotta keep doing what he's doing. Keep watching film and keep learning from his experience. He's gonna get better.

"We have great faith in that because of his ability and his character. He'll get there but it's a difficult time for him for sure."

(Quick tangent -- Santa Cruz could have used Poole on Sunday as the Sea Dubs lost to the Salt Lake City Stars, 102-77).

The 20-year-old went 1-for-8 overall (0-for-5 on 3s) last Friday against the Celtics.

He was 0-for-7 from the field (0-for-3 on 3s) Sunday night in New Orleans, and when it rains it pours:

What's strange is that the Michigan product is getting good looks:

But it hasn't been all bad for Poole.

"The one thing I'm really pleased with -- I think his defense has been much better," Kerr said. "He's starting to understand the NBA game and the schemes and the coverages. The things you have to do as a guard -- he's picking up on all those things.

"His defense is way better now than it was a month ago. That's a great sign and he's gotta stay with it."

Kerr is correct, and here are two examples from the Warriors' loss in Oklahoma City on Nov. 9 to prove it:

Additionally, Poole is averaging 2.4 assists over the last nine games.

[RELATEDWhy Draymond says Paschall doesn't even know NBA game yet]

But understandably so, the focus is on his shooting struggles.

"He's pressing. I know exactly how he feels," Kerr added. "I was in a similar circumstance as a younger player -- not getting this amount of playing time -- but my first year in the league feeling like, 'Man, this is totally different from college.'

"This is all brand new for Jordan and we're trying to help him through it."

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Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Besides all of the injuries, Eric Paschall has been the story of the Warriors' season so far.

The rookie is averaging 16.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52 percent overall.

The No. 41 overall pick racked up 30 points and seven rebounds Sunday night in New Orleans, on a very efficient 10-for-17 from the field.

Not bad for a guy who doesn't have a clue what he's doing when he takes the floor (sarcasm font).

"Sometimes he can get a little lost out there, not knowing where to go," Draymond Green told reporters after Golden State's 108-100 loss. "Just trying to help him find his spacing.

"Right now, he’s just scoring off raw talent. He really don’t know how to play the NBA game. As he figures out more and more the NBA game, how to get fouled, he’ll get better and better.”

Paschall certainly got fouled against the Pelicans, as he shot a career-high 10 free throws (he made eight to put him at just over 84 percent on the year).

The three-time All-Star clearly is trying to motivate the 23-year-old and wants him to stay hungry.

Draymond assisted Paschall on three buckets Sunday, and you better believe that he is going to do everything he can to help the rookie continue to grow:

Furthermore, you got to love this aggression:

Paschall probably doesn't have much of a chance to win Rookie of the Year, but at this rate he absolutely will make one of the two All-Rookie teams (quite possibly First Team).

[RELATEDHow Draymond is leading Dubs through ‘frustrating’ season]

The opportunities will keep coming.

“Where we are right now, without D’Lo (D'Angelo Russell), we have to continue to find ways to get Eric the ball in different situations,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because he’s our best scorer.”

We all saw that coming before the season started, right?

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