Robinson, via Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders:
“Even when (Golden State) played Philly, I showed them what I could do,” Robinson told Basketball Insiders. “So to play those consistent minutes a night and perform well… that’s the most disappointing part about coming here is that — both of us (are) coming off career years where we’re looking at hopefully big numbers after the season. I know I’ve got a family to feed. So you think about all those things.
“All those things play a role, and then when you come here and your role’s not really explained or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade — it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact. It’s a little different, so… this team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it. But it’s a business, you’ve got to make it happen and go out and try to do your best every night.”
76ers coach Brett Brown, via NBC Sports Philadelphia:
And that is not true. With all of our players, you sit down and you go through this clearly. After All-Star break, every single one of them got a roadmap — this is your role, this is what we expect.”
“I get when you have a career year on a poor team and it’s a contract year, I understand it. I coached those years myself,” Brown said. “And so in the middle of all of it, he’s good people. He’s a good person and he’s trying to figure out what his next step is while coexisting in a team framework.
These types of issues come up all the time. A player going public often signals a more intense dispute, and that might be the case here. But it also sounds like Robinson might have just answered honestly when asked.
The 76ers have been particularly unsettled since acquiring Robinson. They benched Al Horford. Then, Ben Simmons got hurt. Then, Joel Embiid got hurt. Robinson feeling stable just isn’t a priority. Backups have to deal with the chaos.
Philadelphia uses several players at forward besides Robinson – Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott and Burks. The 76ers’ rotation famously mixes and matches several combinations. That makes the adjustment even rougher.
But I wonder how much this about an undefined role vs. a smaller role. After averaging 13 points and 32 minutes per game with the Warriors, Robinson is down to six points and 15 minutes per game with the 76ers.
Robinson also hasn’t played well with Philadelphia, missing all nine of his 3-pointers and not defending as well as hoped. I bet that contributes to his frustration.
The 76ers won’t use Robinson like the Golden State did. Philadelphia has too many talented players to give Robinson that large of a role. He must comes to terms with that.
But the 76ers can also do more to make him feel comfortable. Whether or not Robinson is being reasonable, managing ego is part of a coach’s job.