Mitchell Robinson cites ‘family issues’ for latest basketball complaint
Mitchell Robinson apologized online for his latest grumblings over his role, citing personal issues as the precursor to implying that he doesn’t participate in the offense and is “really just wasting my time and energy” during games.
“I been going through the perfect storm as I call it,” Robinson wrote Friday on Instagram to KnicksFanTV, two days after the center’s complaint on a different social media platform. “After the game against Portland I just snapped like I got a baby on the way I got family issues I just got to figure out a way to get back under control when my mind was free I was good after I had 3 bad games.
“I just started thinking about all the stuff I had going on and kept it going. …My bad I should’ve handled it differently didn’t want no bad blood just gotta find myself.”
Robinson also defended himself from accusations that he’s selfish, writing that he puts his body on the line and risks injuries for defense.
“Most of y’all say I need to play better [but] I play the way [the Knicks] want me to for 5 years now.”
Robinson was responding to criticism for his post after Tuesday’s victory over the Blazers, when he scored just two points in 21 minutes and wrote on Snapchat, “Tired of being out there for cardio. …Just wasting my time and energy. …Disappearing for a while.”
The Knicks didn’t make Robinson available to the media after Friday’s practice and didn’t explain why.
With cryptic social media posts as his preferred mode of communication, Robinson has griped multiple times about his lack of offensive opportunities. As a rebounding and shot-blocking specialist, he’s averaging just 4.8 shot attempts in 27.3 minutes. Regardless of any discontent, he signed a four-year, $60 million contract before this season.
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The majority of Robinson’s chances are on lobs and putbacks. He rarely has the ball in his hands. It’s a product of Tom Thibodeau’s system but also fitted to Robinson’s limited skillset since he hasn’t demonstrated any post moves or jumpers. Even Robinson’s free throws are missing over half the time.
Former NBA player Chandler Parsons ripped Robinson for fueling distractions after a Knicks victory.
“This is a sign of immaturity. This is selfish. This is him being a bad teammate,” Parsons said on FanDuel TV’s “Run It Back.” “His team is finally on top. They’re having a great year. They haven’t done anything with him. They’re now finally getting a taste of success and you just provide this public distraction really and let’s be honest, big guys like this when they go on this rant, what do you want? You want the ball in isos?
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“He has zero game. He can’t go and score,” Parsons continued. “It’s not like he’s gonna go get buckets, so I don’t really know where he’s getting at. He’s a great, big man that can roll, that can run, that can block shots, that can help defensively… But he will get exposed if they give him the ball… He’s not that guy.”
Thibodeau downplayed Robinson’s public complaining.
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“He’s been fine. There’s going to be some frustrations over the course of a season,” the coach said. “He’s played very well. Just concentrate. Sometimes frustration can creep in. You’ve got to fix it. Then move forward. That’s it.”
Jalen Brunson said it’s his job as a point guard to help a frustrated player get involved. Robinson hasn’t scored in double-digits over the last four games.
“It’s definitely my job. I gotta be the guy who sets the table for everybody, and I gotta do a great job of kind of being able to get myself going but at the same time get my teammates going,” Brunson said. “But it’s the NBA. Guys are gonna be frustrated night in and night out, but it’s all about how we handle it internally and where we go from there.
“You say something [as a leader to encourage him], but at the same time, you don’t repeatedly knock on that door. You say something; you move on; you get better. That’s just how it is. Mitch has reacted great to that.
Robinson will have a difficult defensive assignment Saturday against the Nuggets and reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.