Glenn Robinson: "Ray Allen will have to make the first move to work things out"
Glenn Robinson: I think every player that comes [into the league] always wants to stay with the same team. You have to be prepared to make changes in this game. I realize it’s still a business. I wanted to stay with the same city because that’s what Magic Johnson and Larry Bird did. Those are the guys that I look up to and those are guys that took their teams from the bottom to the top. We almost got there in Milwaukee, it was a great shot. I wanted to stay there because that’s what two of the best players that ever played the game did.
If you had to be traded would you rather have been traded farther away rather than within the same division?
GR: I like the fact that I’ll be able to compete with my old team. So far, it’s working out well for me. We have positive things going on here. They’re struggling a little bit up there but I can’t worry about that (laughs). I think that a team that really doesn’t want to deal with a person would trade them to the west coast or somewhere, but obviously they think the trade was good, so we’ll see.
The Bucks visit Atlanta in a couple of weeks and you go to Milwaukee in early January. Is it safe to say you have those days circled on your calendar?
GR: Most definitely. It’s not any bad blood between me and the Bucks. It’s not like it was a nasty trade or I had a fallout with the organization but it’s always good to beat your old team and always good to play well against your old team.
Atlanta sports fans in general have gotten a bad rap over the years, not selling out for Braves and Hawks playoff games for example. How have you found the city so far and the fans in particular?
GR: Well, there’s so much to do there, there’s so much activity there in the city of Atlanta. You got pro basketball, pro football, pro baseball, there’s just so much to do. In a lot of NBA cities, the NBA game is the only thing to do. Atlanta is a strong market. When I first got into the league and they had Steve Smith and Mookie Blaylock and those guys, they had a pretty nice crowd. That’s what we want to bring back and I think if we have a successful trip out west our fans will know that we’re for real and we’re serious about what we’re doing and they’ll come out and support us.
How has the chemistry been on this team with you being new and playing a major role right away?
GR: It’s been like I’ve been with these guys for three or four years. This is a whole new ball club, the guys here are willing to make that sacrifice and do what it takes to make the playoffs and be a good team. That’s commitment and that’s playing team ball, playing together. That’s one thing I want to bring to the team, not just my scoring but adding other things to my game.
Do you envision yourself sitting down with Ray Allen at some point and working things out between the two of you?
GR: He’ll have to make the first move. I had no idea he felt the way he felt about me. I didn’t find out until Media Day, the first day of the season. If he had a problem with me he should have addressed that to me. I’m still open for him to talk to me but I won’t go to him first because he’s the one who brought all of this madness out. I never had anything bad to say about the Bucks, the organization or the players. All I’ve ever said is we had some good times, I accomplished a lot of things there. It was a good run. He came with something different on me, so I think that’s up to him.
You have said the Ray Allen was “your rookie” when he came to the Bucks. Whose rookie were you?
GR: Johnny Newman. He played my position. He taught me a lot about playing the small forward position because when I came from Purdue I was a power forward and I had to make that transition, plus I held out. I didn’t play until the first of November and I was out of shape and he worked me, he ran me. He taught me not only about the game but life on the road, taking care of yourself off the court, he taught me about a lot things like that. I was his rookie.
Do you still keep in touch with him?
GR: We still have a great relationship. I always talk to him every time we play. We always have a lot to talk about because we had some good times in Milwaukee my first couple of years there.
Has the experience with Ray Allen affected how you will approach that role of taking rookies under your wing in the future?
GR: That’s my job. It’s all veteran’s job to pass along what they know, their knowledge of the game to the younger guys. Whatever I can do to help… Like right now, I try to talk to Jason Terry a lot, Dion Glover, Ira Newble, just trying to help them better their game, being more selective about things, what they do on the court.
What do you think of the organization’s guarantee of making the playoffs? Does that add even more pressure on a guy like you who is new to the team?
GR: It’s just pressure for us to go out and play well. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life and that’s what I’m looking to do here.
Steven Koek is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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