Sunday, July 1, 2012

Robinson gives Kings much to like, more


— Thomas Robinson is full of surprises. On Thursday, he is drafted No. 5 instead of No. 2. On Saturday, he introduces himself to Kings fans as a hardworking, ordinary guy who just happens to be a perfect rebounder. Later in the afternoon, he attracts an exuberant crowd at Arden Fair mall, his appeal and size of the gathering exceeding the Jimmer Fredette frenzy a year ago.


The rookie looks fine in a suit, as advertised, 6-foot-9 and 244 pounds of chiseled, power forward muscle. His massive hands could sub for meat hooks at the local deli. He speaks softly and doesn’t elaborate much – at least he didn’t during his first several hours in town – but he certainly knows how to deliver a soundbite.

“I don’t do anything perfect except rebound,” the former Kansas Jayhawks star said, matter-of-factly, during his news conference at Power Balance Pavilion.

The Kings, of course, can’t wait to see and hear more. They still can’t believe Robinson dropped to No. 5. He’s not Anthony Davis, but his presence alongside DeMarcus Cousins makes the Kings potentially intimidating and infinitely more interesting.

If Geoff Petrie reaches a verbal agreement with Jason Thompson during the free-agent negotiating period that began today and continues through July 10 – and that was the stated goal before the pursuit turned to shooters and point guards – Kings practices will be more entertaining than any of those traditionally tedious midweek, midseason matchups between chronic lottery participants.

Cousins, with his frowns, his famous bark and his muscular, marvelous talents. Thompson, with his emotional, wide-eyed expressions and occasional fits of temper. And now Robinson, with his combination of talent and athleticism, of terrific footwork and massive hands, of a famous work ethic and a motor that seems stuck at 100 mph.

OK, so he’s not perfect. The Kings don’t need perfect. They need more quality players. They need more talent. They need a complement to the outrageously gifted Cousins. The rookie is perfect enough.

“Thomas won’t block a lot of shots,” Kansas coach Bill Self said earlier Saturday, “but he slides his feet, and he’s capable. He’ll probably be better in the NBA because we were always concerned about keeping him out of foul trouble. I think it’s a great fit (with Cousins), and the fact Sacramento is a little bit of a smaller market, that will be good for him, too. Even though he didn’t go No. 2, I think things worked out well. Everyone knows he’s been through a lot.”

Though his story has been well-publicized, Robinson, 21, is increasingly reluctant to share details of a 2011 season during which his grandmother, grandfather and mother died within a 25-day span. Concerned with his sophomore’s fragile emotional state, Self initially was conflicted about how hard to coach his devastated, emerging star.

“In all honesty,” said Self, “Thomas lost all of the loved ones who would tell him ‘no.’ People were afraid to upset him. But he just said, ‘Don’t coddle me. Coach me like you would have if nothing had happened.’”

Robinson’s extensive support system in Lawrence, Kan., includes Angela Morris, mother of his former Jayhawks teammates and second-year NBA forwards Marcus and Markieff. Angela Morris attended the draft proceedings in New Jersey and, at Robinson’s request, accompanied him to Sacramento. A self-anointed “godmother,” she will return within the next few weeks to help find a house and get settled.


JHAWKSWAG 9 years, 10 months ago

Great landing spot for T-REX...I know he was probably disappointed he didn't go #2 but its a blessing in disguise, the Bobcats are the worst organization in the NBA.

ccarp 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad he didn't end up in Cleveland.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 10 months ago

Agreed...and Jordan keeps proving that he doesn't have the mind or the skills for management.

MimiHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Hey Ailene, her name is A N G E L, not Angela.


REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

The Kings have gone from a unit they couldn't have paid me to watch to a squad which will remain in my periphery all season and going forward, so long as T-Rob stays healthy. If D. Cousins is smart, he will embrace the new guy who is bound to remove some heat from his shoulders. Those two big guys can open some opportunities for the Jimmer.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 10 months ago

It's hard to tell from that last paragraph. Is Angel Morris helping Robinson to find a house and get settled or is she finding one for herself and getting herself settled? If the former, then the sentence is missing a word. If the latter, then it needs to be more clear.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm so glad Angel is going to help him find a house. Often young guys with all that money get a little carried away and get way more than they need.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Haha. Wow, where do I start? Nice choice of avatar, comment, and username. A winning tri-fecta right here!

Steve Brown 9 years, 10 months ago

Folsum Hills? Glad Jayla will be close to Disneyland.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 10 months ago

Close to Disneyland?

I guess 5 hours is closer than all the way across the country, but Sac and Anaheim are at opposite ends of the state (NorCal/SoCal). Sort of like KC to TX.

As for TRob, #5 should be some nice motivation.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Is Angel on staff at Kansas?......If not, she should be!!

Glenn Moore Jr 9 years, 10 months ago

I think we as fans forget how much of a family these young men and their family's become while they are on campus. we get caught up in wins and loses and who is not doing this and that. and when they annouce they are leaving early for the nba we do think the emotion is real. I love the fact that angle morris has stepped up and become like a 2nd mother to t-rob and his lil sister as well. More than anything else they will need her and her guiding influence as he transisition into an part of life. he wont be surrounded by the community like he had in lawrence. The people in sac-town will expect more of him one cause he is getting paid to ball and because he is a grown azz man. not to turn all religious but do we remember how close the morris twins came to not coming to KU. if they hadnt who t-rob had trusted enuf to allow them to step into that role. You cant tell me that there is no God and there isnt a plan!!! I love KU cause we as a program is the definition of family!!!!

leonard 9 years, 10 months ago

  • “but he slides his feet, and he’s capable. He’ll probably be better in the NBA because we were always concerned about keeping him out of foul trouble. - Coach Self

Just a little throw-away line...but it caused me to reflect on the many instances where I yelled at Thomas to play harder on defense.

It's more proof that things are not always as they seem...and more importantly to trust Coach Self...always.

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