Wednesday, July 29, 2015

He Made It Through So Far, But . . .

Temple's Antywane Robinson survived the 76ers' first roster cut, but he still has a hill to climb.

He Made It Through So Far, But . . .

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Maurice Cheeks isn't the first coach to refer to Antywane Robinson as ''intriguing.''

John Chaney, Robinson's coach at Temple from 2002-03 to '05-06, thought that--and more--about the slim 6-8 forward.

Robinson, the Big 5's Most Improved Player as a senior, went undrafted in '06 and has been trying to find his niche via  a succession of spots on NBA summer league teams, a couple of stints in the NBA Development League and some time last season with Pau Orthez in France.

''Of all the players I had, I never had one who could shoot as well as Antywane,'' Chaney said after learning that his protege had survived the Sixers' first roster cut. ''There were some practices in which he'd never miss. The thing was, in games we found him lost, which was puzzling to us because he had the skill.

''He has those long arms and good length and could shoot over anyone, but he couldn't create for himself. The other thing was, we felt he wasn't mean enough, tough enough or aggressive enough to attack around the basket. He had games were he'd get 15-18 points without taking a foul shot. I've always believed that, when it's time to win, you have to be able to make field goals or free throws, or both. We wouldn't call his number in the last couple minutes of close games.''

Robinson, though, believes he has expanded his versatility after playing in France. That, and having gone through last preseason with the Atlanta Hawks, probably helped him stay with the Sixers, at least for the moment. When Cheeks pared the roster, he dropped guard Maureece Rice, the former Strawberry Mansion High star who broke Wilt Chamberlain's city career scoring record; forward Cory Underwood, who had been a last-minute addition from the ''D'' League, and guard Andre Emmett, the career scoring leader from Texas Tech.

That leaves Robinson and backup forward/center Jared Reiner, who has logged time with the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks.

''I always used to kid Antywane,'' Chaney said, laughing. ''I'd tell him I'd never loan him my car to drive in the city because he couldn't operate in a crowd.''

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About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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