Thomas Robinson became a fan-favorite among some fans of the Los Angeles Lakers for the endless hustle and energy he plays with, and it’s something he wants to continue to work on as he heads into the summer.
“I’ll be a star in my role, that’s the best way I can put it,” Robinson told the media after his exit interview with Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton and the front office. “That’s helping my other teammates get off on their shots. Rebounds and extra plays.”
Robinson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, said he wasn’t sure how his exit interview went. However, the well-traveled veteran was hopeful he had shown enough to return to Los Angeles for another season after fighting to make the team in training camp last season.
"Hopefully it turns into me coming back as a Laker,” Robinson said, and he added he has had to work on how to care less about what people on the outside think about his game.
“That burns me. I hate that people think I’m not a worthy player in this league,” Robinson said, before acknowledging he’s gotten better at ignoring outside criticism to pay attention to what “the people who pay (him)” think.
If the Lakers will continue to be his employers next season is unknown, but whether or not he returns, his love and appreciation for Walton helping keep him in the league was obvious.
"Even when I wasn’t playing, Luke gave me attention as if I was a starter,” Robinson said. "For this crop of young players, there's nobody better than Luke."
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. All quotes transcribed via Periscope. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our thoughts on the season below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.