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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Big Dog still has some bite left for 76ers

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posted on Oct, 6 2004 @ 09:37 PM
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) The Big Dog needed a smack on the nose.

After a season plagued by injuries and a bad attitude, Glenn Robinson recognized it was time to get serious, get in shape and get ready to prove he still has some bite in his game.

After only two days of training camp at Duke, Sixers coach Jim O'Brien has already singled him out as one of the team's standout players.

"I think sometimes when you have a guy that has had the type of career that Glenn has had, you've got to throw out certain years," O'Brien said.

Last season was one to toss out as Robinson missed a career-high 39 games because of a league suspension, sprained ankles and elbow surgery. He averaged 16.6 points - just the second time he averaged under 20 in a 10-year career - and never became the scoring complement for Allen Iverson that the Sixers envisioned when they acquired him from Atlanta.

"I thought I was able to do more than what I really could do," he said.

Robinson, the No. 1 pick out of Purdue in the 1994 NBA draft, said he let the injuries affect his conduct, too. He griped about playing time, sulked on the bench and refused to join the team in the huddle only days before rookie coach Randy Ayers was fired.

Once the season ended, Robinson retreated to his homes in Atlanta and Chicago and started an extensive workout program that focused on the treadmill and weight training. He had surgery on his right (shooting) elbow in March and now proclaims himself 100 percent healthy.

"Early in my career, I didn't do much over the summer," he said. "I had the athletic ability, I had the talent. Now that I'm a bit older, I'm just trying to stay in shape all year round."

Robinson made the All-Star team twice and has a 20.8 career scoring average. Plus, the massive 11-year contract he signed as a rookie with Milwaukee expires after this season, making Robinson a free agent. He needs a big year if he wants to get another contract that pays anywhere near the $12 million he will make this season.

"I've been a great player. I feel I'm still a great player," Robinson said. "That's just a confidence within myself. If I do what I'm supposed to do, the contract will take care of itself."

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