Knicks Exec Craig Robinson Has Religion In Participant Improvement System

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Latest News : Knicks exec Craig Robinson has religion in participant improvement system

For his job as the top of Knicks participant improvement, Craig Robinson can’t apply what he discovered most from his well-known brother-in-law, Barack Obama.

“The best way to cope with my sister (Michelle Obama),” Robinson joked. “She’s not the best.”

The Knicks, after all, are additionally a handful, a franchise on a five-year playoff drought and engaged in a loss of life march towards the top of this misplaced season. One of many few issues left worthy of consideration is participant improvement, which Robinson oversees whereas splitting time with the Knicks and their G-League affiliate in Westchester.

In a 30-minute sitdown with a small group of reporters Wednesday, Robinson described his philosophies as “progressive” and “transformative” and “one thing that’s utterly new.”

However they’re additionally a thriller.

“I wouldn’t describe it intimately within the newspapers as a result of then all people would do what I wish to do,” Robinson mentioned.

Like a politician, Robinson caught to his speaking factors. He needs to develop “on and off the court docket” and set up a “vertically integrating” system so your entire group is concerned. He’s additionally asking us to order judgement on participant improvement — particularly concerning Frank Ntilikina — till after this summer season as a result of, “throughout the season you don’t have as a lot time to have follow.”

His definition of improvement is naked bones.

“It means getting gamers higher,” he mentioned.

Robinson was extra enlightening in regards to the circumstances that introduced him to New York, most notably his longstanding relationship with crew president Steve Mills.

They had been basketball teammates at Princeton within the early 80s, earlier than Robinson spent 14 years as an funding banker. Robinson, 55, took a heavy paycut to return to basketball as an NCAA coach (at Brown and Oregon State), after which as an government with the Milwaukee Bucks.

When Mills was elevated to Knicks president, he known as Robinson to supply the job as vp of participant improvement and G League operations. The timing was dangerous — Robinson was concurrently closing on a home in Milwaukee — however Mills was convincing.

“So that is how the decision went: Steve mentioned, ‘I feel I’ve the proper job for you.’ I’m like, ‘No method, my spouse Kelly is on the closing and I actually admire it, however now is just not the appropriate time.’ That was the way it went,” Robinson recalled. “He was like, ‘Critically, simply hear me out.’ Then he explains the job and I’m like, ‘Ooh, that’s the excellent job for me.’”

Robinson was employed in August to this newly-created function to work above Allan Houston, who stays the GM of the Westchester Knicks. As Clarence Gaines did for Phil Jackson, Robinson serves as Mills’ trusted advisor and infrequently accompanies the Knicks on the highway.

Successes or failures are onerous to quantify lower than a yr into the job. Though the Knicks are as soon as once more settling right into a 50-plus loss season, their G League affiliate leads its convention and already clinched a playoff spot. Six gamers — together with Joakim Noah — have frolicked each with the Knicks and the G League this season.

Nevertheless, lots of those self same gamers — not together with Noah — are half of the present Knicks squad that has misplaced 16 of its final 17 video games. And as Robinson hammered Wednesday, your entire group is intertwined.

“Reasonably than say it’s type of a faculty model, it’s extra progressive,” he mentioned. “It’s simply, I assume you possibly can say it’s a school model however these guys are grownups, they don’t dwell collectively. It’s actually completely different from being in school. We now have these crew constructing workouts nevertheless it’s extra like working in an organization that’s forward-thinking.

“However when you take a look at an organization like Nike, there’s loads of collaboration happening and loads of inside improvement happening so that you develop your individual leaders. I feel you would say it’s extra one thing like a Nike or a Google than it’s a school.”

Robinson mentioned he’s withholding the specifics of his innovation as a result of he doesn’t wish to disclose “the key sauce.” It’s onerous to imagine groups would wish to mimic the Knicks over the Spurs or Warriors, however Robinson is a giant believer in his system and is getting a possibility to show it with the rebuilding Knicks.

Amid some very influential exterior stress.

“(Barack and Michelle Obama) are absolute Knicks followers however they’re each Chicago Bulls followers,” Robinson mentioned. “They wouldn’t cease rooting for the Bulls even once I was with the Bucks so… And I by no means needed to fear about it once I was teaching school. However yeah, they’re Knicks followers, they concentrate. So I get critiqued by the previous President of america and the previous First Girl.” 

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