New York Knicks rookie big man, Mitchell Robinson, has spent the better part of a year not playing organized basketball prior to being drafted. Despite his lack of true game experience, Robinson came out firing in-front of coach David Fizdale, further justifying the drafting of the 7-foot-1 rim-runner.
â€œMan, is he athletic,â€ Fizdale said, according to Newsday. â€œKidâ€™s got pretty good feel for the game. Heâ€™s in great shape. And athletically, heâ€™s a freak. Heâ€™s in the one percentile of high flyers and runners. Itâ€™s just not many guys thatâ€™s that athletic.â€
Frank Ntilikina ðŸ‡«ðŸ‡·ðŸ‘‘ to Mitchell Robinson ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ðŸš€ pic.twitter.com/V9mPrHraas
— Knicks France (@KnicksFrance) July 4, 2018
Robinson was once considered a first-round draft piece before dropping out of Western Kentucky and taking on the NBA process on his own.
â€œYes, sir,â€ Robinson said. â€œSitting out the whole year was tough for half the year. But then time got close and my mind started getting right, like â€˜Iâ€™m about to start playing again, so keep working hard.â€™
For a player to not experience college basketball and neglect any real organized basketball is hard to believe, but for Mitchell, it was just part of his process.
Coach Fizdale has compared the lengthy big-man to Clint Capela, a big-time shot blocker and dunk connoisseur.
â€œI want to encourage him to be great at what heâ€™s good at right now,â€ Fizdale said. â€œCan we just get him a game? His game right now is running and jumping. So anything that has to do with that, how good can I make him at that first?â€
While Robinson acquires a ton of raw talent, he’s still a project in the works. He will need to work on his post game and jump shot if he wants to become an effective NBA player. For the Knicks, he can be a high-profile big-man, but it will be interesting to see how they develop him and what skills they favor in regard to their scheme and roster. I would expect him to get some decent playing time this year, yet still hitting the necessary rookie speed-bumps.