Media day can be a bit overwhelming, especially for a young rookie like Thomas Robinson. We are quickly learning some things about the fifth overall pick from the 2012 NBA Draft, but like everything else, it is a process.
One of the first nuances that we discovered about Robinson during Las Vegas Summer League is that much like teammate DeMarcus Cousins, he hates to lose with a passion. It clearly affects his demeanor both on and off the court.
“I don’t like losing,” Robinson told Cowbell Kingdom during Monday’s media day. “And when I play bad, I will be mad. That’s just me. So I’m not going to change that for nobody.”
According to Cousins, Robinson is “his rookie” this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he can help control his emotions.
“I’m the same way so I’m going to need help as well,” said a smiling Cousins after Tuesday’s practice. “I guess we’ll lean on each other.”
One of the main reasons the Kings brought in Chuck Hayes was to work with young players like Cousins and Robinson.
“I can help him with that,” said a confident Hayes. “One thing he’s going to have to learn and I’ll tell him this, is that you still have the next play. You know, you have to have amnesia in this league, you have to hurry up and get over it. You mess up on one play, there’s another play after that and another play after that. Just don’t make it a bad habit.”
Emotions aside, in what little time the team has had together, Robinson has made a pretty substantial impression on his teammates.
“His motor is ridiculous,” Cousins said of Robinson. “For him to be that big, his motor is crazy.”
Hayes shared almost the same sentiment when asked about the rookie. But I doubt the Kings veteran and his teammates have yet seen the effects that losing has on the young power forward.
That will be one of the challenges of this Kings’ campaign. How does Robinson deal with playing for a franchise that is mired in six consecutive losing seasons? Can he move past the team’s record and focus on improving? Can he be the catalyst that helps the team turn things around? Only time will tell.
Alongside Jonathan Santiago, here is our interview with the T-Rob from his first of many media days.
CK: How are you enjoying this crazy media experience so far?
T-Rob: It’s exciting. I’m just excited to come out here, put the uniform on and talk to you guys knowing that training camp starts tomorrow.
CK: How has your summer been and what have you been working on since we saw you in summer league?
T-Rob: Just the same things. Trying to get better around the rim and working 18 feet and on in.
CK: Talk about that players-only camp that you guys had back in July and just getting a chance to meet some of your other teammates and get out there on the court with them.
T-Rob: That was good. I did pretty fair at that camp actually. It was a good experience and I learned a lot there and I took away some good things.
CK: What were some of the things that you were able to take away from that camp?
T-Rob: Just to learn to play your position better and learn how to not waste so much energy when I’m on the court.
CK: When you were at summer league, you played with a lot of players that are probably never going to play in an NBA game. But when you play in a camp like this and get to play alongside a big man like DeMarcus Cousins, how does that change things for you?
T-Rob: You know, it’s different. You’re playing with more well-rounded guys that know more about the level that you’re playing on and have a lot more experience, so you get a better feel (for what you will face during the season).
CK: What is it that you are expecting from this first season? You will probably be coming off the bench to start, but what are trying to build on and what are you trying to accomplish?
T-Rob: I don’t know where I’m going to start the season at. That’s not a set thing yet. So where ever I play, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, I’ll just come in and try to play hard.
CK: What are you learning about managing your emotions throughout the season. It’s obviously a long 82 games and there are going to be games where you don’t play well. And then there are going to be games where you have a career game. How are you learning how to stay even-keeled at this point before the season begins?
T-Rob: “Well, I’m not, because I haven’t been through it yet. I don’t like losing and when I play bad, I will be mad. That’s just me. So I’m not going to change that for nobody.”
CK: How about getting settled in here in Sacramento. How is that process going for you?
T-Rob: That’s pretty good. I’m pretty settled now. Now, I’m just ready to start.