The bulk of the Miami Heat‘s lineup was powering through injuries while trying to get past the Boston Celtics to reach the NBA Finals, however, the first player to undergo surgery this postseason was not part of the injury reports, forward Duncan Robinson.
Robinson, who much to his chagrin, barely played in the postseason, reveals on the latest episode of his “The Long Shot” podcast that he will be going under the knife this summer to fix a nagging issue that will hopefully, elevate his game.
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The discussion arose during the final few minutes of the podcast as co-host Del Reid notes that they couldn’t record a new episode next week because of the sharpshooter’s impending surgery. “You’re getting a nose job,” Reid jokes.
“This feels like a HIPAA violation,” Robinson says with a laugh, before divulging the real reason he’s getting nose surgery.
“I have a fracture in my nose that has resulted in a deviated septum of sorts,” Robinson says. “I do a lot of yoga, a lot of pilates, and I really struggle to nasal breathe. I have my whole life. And I just thought that’s how the body was. I thought that everybody struggled to nasal breathe.”
“I’ve talked to teammates who’ve gotten the same thing, I’m not going to name names because that would definitely be a HIPAA violation, and they said it was like life-changing for their sleep, for their performance, for their conditioning.”
Robinson clarifies that this is a “totally an elective surgery” and “nothing visually will change.” As for why chose this offseason to tackle the issues, “I figured the time was now,” he says. “It doesn’t really put you out for that long, just 10 days or so. And then I’m going to hit the ground running with my training.”
Robinson Calls Getting Benched ‘A Big, Big Learning Experience
Looking back on the season, the 28-year-old undrafted forward out of Michigan says on his podcast that he’s “super appreciative and grateful to be part of the experience” of making it within one game of reaching the NBA Finals, but noted that the journey was also bittersweet.
After starting 68 of the 79 games he appeared in during the regular season, then getting taken out of the rotation entirely during the playoffs, was a “big, big learning experience that I won’t soon forget,” he says.
“It’s a situation from a personal standpoint, that I don’t want to be in again,” Robinson says, and that he’ll “do my due diligence to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
After Reid points out that Robinson’s whole basketball career has been a “rollercoaster” of ups and downs, he asks if that experience made the battle of getting benched “any easier” to which the Heat forward says no.
“It doesn’t make it easier, it makes it familiar, that it’s not necessarily uncharted territory.” However, Robinson is going to use the experience as motivation:
What I tried to do, and not saying that I was always perfect in doing so, but I’m proud of how I handled the ‘adversity’ — mind you, once again, I’ve said this before, this is basketball adversity which is all relative in the grand scheme of many things – so maintaining that perspective, one, first and foremost, I think is important, but then just understand that some of what’s happening is outside of my control. What I can control, is how I respond to it.
Pat Riley Sent a Strong Message to Robinson During His End-of-Season Press Conference
Heat president Pat Riley addressed Robinson’s peculiar situation during his annual end-of-the-year press conference on Monday, June 6. Riley made it clear that if Robinson, who they signed to a $90 million contract last offseason, wants back in the rotation, he has to step up his game as a two-way player:
Defensively, as a young player, he’s got to get better. We hang our hat on that. I’m not going to say that we lost a game because we had some horrendous three-point shooting games, or someone missed a three or whatever it is. If you don’t guard all three areas of the court, if you don’t guard the three-point line, if you don’t guard two-point shots, if you don’t guard at the elbow, if you don’t guard at the rim, if you don’t guard in transition. If you don’t defend by rebounding, by taking charges and getting loose balls and winning that war every night, then you’re always going to blame it on shooting. To me, yes Duncan can improve. That message has been delivered to him. But that’s where we as a team have to win. We have to win defensively.