Glenn Robinson Taking Advantage of Opportunity With Warriors Right Now

SAN FRANCISCO -- Glenn Robinson III stepped onto a makeshift stage about 20 minutes after the Warriors' 100-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday night to discuss his latest impressive performance. 

For years, the stage has been reserved for the team's top performer. In the last week, Robinson's performances have more than fit the bill, but the guard's presence on the platform Wednesday evening served a bigger purpose. 

Through six years, he has played for four teams along the way, searching for an opportunity to represent for an organization that believes in his talent. 

At the moment, he's taking advantage of his current circumstance. In Wednesday's loss, he scored a career-high 25 points, including three 3-pointers, giving a glimpse of his potential.

Four minutes into the first quarter, he received a pass from point guard Ky Bowman, took one dribble and forcibly dunked the ball with two hands. A quarter later, he took a pass from Marquese Chriss, took another dribble and hit a jumper, putting the Warriors up seven points, helping the team take a six-point halftime lead. Late in the fourth quarter, he hit his third 3-pointer of the night, putting the Warriors up 10 points, giving the team a formidable shot to win its fourth game of the year. 

Robinson's big night was indicative of his last week. Over his last four games, he's averaged 12 points and 4.9 rebounds on 49 percent from the field, planting seeds for a breakout season. 

"He's having a great year for us," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday evening. "He's a hell of a player and I'm very happy for him." 

Similar performances have been few and far between throughout Robinson's career. During his first five seasons in the league, he played for three teams. With the Pacers, he seemed to gain traction, shooting 39.3 percent from beyond the arc over a three-year stretch, earning a two-year, $8.3 million contract with the Detroit Pistons in 2018. 

However, Robinson struggled last season, averaging just 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game as injuries limited him to 47 games. Worse, the Pistons decided to decline his option four months ago.

On the surface, the Pistons' decision made sense. A modestly-paid free agent didn't live up to expectations, leading to his dismissal. According to Robinson, though, the environment wasn't conducive to personal success. 

"There just wasn't an opportunity," he said to NBC Sports Bay Area. "They didn't believe in me, they didn't think I could defend. They thought that I was a four. They didn't really think that I could shoot. I think [head coach Dwane] Casey just got me there just because I was an open free-agent wing and I don't really know why they took me because they really didn't give me an opportunity to play." 

"I knew that I belonged in this league," he added. "I knew I could be a great defender, a good shooter, but when you don't get many opportunities and I'm already a guy that doesn't require plays so then it's like I'm running up and down the court when I did get in." 

More than a week after Detroit's decision, an olive branch was extended from the Bay Area, where the Warriors offered a two-year deal and a chance to revitalize his career in a winning environment.  

"It's one of the first opportunities on a team where I've gotten where you're happy to come inside every single day," Robinson said. "I've been on some teams where you're dreading almost to go in and coach walks in, you get uptight. Guys on the team get into it.

"Guys around here just have a positive attitude and that's what you want as a player." 

Robinson's introduction to the team's culture caught him by surprise. In one of the team's first film sessions, Kerr showed the team a video montage of defensive backs getting burned on deep passes in an effort to encourage his players to improve their transition defense. Additionally, Kerr offered a training camp that promoted instruction over exhaustion, discouraging a traditional 'two-a-day' structure. 

"That's when I knew it was more about teaching," Robinson said. "More about learning how to play basketball."

Robinson thrived in the system, averaging 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the preseason to become the Warriors' starting small forward. Now, eight players out with injuries -- including All-Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, D'Angelo Russell and Draymond Green -- Robinson is expected to continue his offensive output. 

"This team needs me to step up more and take more of those shots," Robinson said. "I just want to continue down that path." 

[RELATED: Ky Bowman learns harsh lesson from Chris Paul]

If Robinson's run of podium games continues, it could put the Warriors in a puzzle. The forward owns a player option this summer, opening the door for a big payday, a scenario he hopes comes to fruition in Golden State. 

"One of my goals coming in was to play as good as I can to let them make a decision about next year," he said. "And to be back here would be great."

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