While Robinson’s insanely massive salary bump shows that the Heat’s front office loves and values what the 27-year-old forward contributes to the team, such affection doesn’t mean that head coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t sometimes get angry with Robinson.
In fact, on the most recent episode of The Long Shot podcast, Robinson recalled how Spoelstra was screaming at him so loud during a game, members of the opposing team looked on with concern.
The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
While playing against the Boston Celtics during the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, “Jaylen Brown was guarding me,” Robinson says, “and I had already hit two (threes) like in the first quarter, and I come off and I pass up a three, that Jaylen was right one me for, like it would’ve been a heave, but like one I guess I’m expected to take and I pass it off and we drive, shoot and miss.”
“I’m running back on the sideline next to the coaching staff on the bench and Spo is just laying into me about how I’m hiding and that I don’t want to shoot it and I’m scared. And this is a thing we’ve developed back and forth.”
Robinson says he actually wants Coach Spo to yell at him because it lights a fire under his game, but that it can create awkward moments for people who don’t know he enjoys a good rousing.
“I want to get yelled at because it taps me into a different place,” Robinson explains, but “I remember Jaylen Brown like looking over at me like ‘Yo, why is he yelling at you like that?’ And I was just straightfaced like… because this is what the f*** it is… this what I need. This is what it’s about.”
Robinson goes on to say this wasn’t the first time Spoelstra went off on him, nor will it be the last. He credits this kind of aggressive coaching as one of the main reasons he’s become one of the greatest three-point shooters in the entire NBA.
Pat Riley Deems Robinson a ‘Critical’ Part of the Heat Roster
While Spoelstra keeps Robinson in check, Heat president Pat Riley has full confidence in the Michigan alum. “The Godfather” put out a powerful statement explaining why they offered the 6-foot-7 forward such a massive pay rise.
“Duncan is the epitome of everybody who’s ever had a dream about being a great NBA player,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement, per the Miami Herald. “I have never been around a player who worked as hard, fastidiously working on what he needed to do in order to improve his game. Not just his shooting, but his overall game. Having Duncan back was very critical for us.”
Robinson’s contract stands as the biggest deal ever offered to an undrafted player in the NBA. In the past two seasons combined, only two other players have scored more threes than Robinson (520), Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard (545), and Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield (553).
Video of Robinson Signing His Contract Went Viral
The Heat’s official Twitter account shared a video where Robinson almost “loses it,” he says, after learning his agent, Jason Glushon, secretly facilitated a plan for his parents, and Marta, his sister, to join him at the contract signing.
In the heartwarming video, his father, Jeffrey Robinson, and mother, Elisabeth Robinson, look to be the proudest parents in the world. Seeing their son go undrafted in 2018 to one of the best three-point shooters in the entire NBA, to signing a contract worth nearly nine figures — it’s nothing short of an amazing journey.
“I’m excited to have my family here,” Robinson says. “I’m completely surprised by that. Just feeling super blessed and humbled by this whole experience really. I had no idea. It was just truly a special moment.”