Glenn Robinson III, Big Dog 2.0

By: 05.14.10

Glenn Robinson at Purdue

A couple nights ago, I was browsing the Big Ten Network OnDemand and settled on a Purdue/Indiana game from 1993. Bobby Knight, Gene Keady when he still kinda had hair, the immortal Damon Bailey, Alan Henderson, Cuonzo Martin … and Glenn Robinson.

If you don’t remember Robinson, a.k.a. “Big Dog” in his prime, he was a BEAST. He dropped 30.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a junior at Purdue, swept all the national Player of the Year awards, and was picked No. 1 overall in that year’s NBA Draft. His push for a $100 million rookie contract from the Bucks (he ended up getting like $65M if I recall) actually set the wheels in motion for the current NBA rookie salary cap.

Robinson is viewed as kind of a bust by some critics, but he had a good career in the pros. He has a ring (San Antonio in ’05), he was part of Milwaukee’s “Big Three” with Sam Cassell and Ray Allen on some really good teams around ’99-01, and he made two All-Star Games. I always watch Carmelo Anthony and think he could have a Robinson-like career — but if that happened, ‘Melo would also be considered a guy who didn’t live up to his potential. Not that Robinson has nothing to be ashamed about. In 11 pro seasons, Big Dog averaged 20.7 points and 6.1 boards. The problem is that he probably peaked in college and never met those expectations in the League.

Now, like other ’90s-era stars Shawn Kemp, Glen Rice and Michael Jordan, Glenn Robinson has a son who is trying to carve out his own basketball niche. In today’s Indianapolis Star, writer Kyle Neppenriep penned a feature on Glenn Robinson III. Here’s an excerpt:

In Northwest Indiana, these are big shoes to fill. They don’t get much bigger. Before Glenn Robinson led the nation in scoring as a junior at Purdue and was the No. 1 overall pick by Milwaukee in the 1994 NBA draft, he was a legend at Gary Roosevelt High School, where he won a state title and was named Indianapolis Star Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1991.

Growing up in the same part of the state as his dad, Glenn Robinson III has been watched closely for years. The Lake Central player will be one of the attractions this weekend at the three-day, 219-team Adidas May Classic in Bloomington. Robinson, who will be a junior in the fall, plays with the 16-and-under SYF Players, who begin play Saturday morning.

Robinson recently received his first scholarship offer, from Valparaiso. He also played in an open gym with some of the Valparaiso players and held his own.

“I was nervous,” he said. “But after a couple minutes, I thought I did OK.”

Other coaches, including Purdue’s Matt Painter and Illinois’ Bruce Weber, have been in to evaluate Robinson at open gym. Also involved in his recruitment are Butler, Evansville, Indiana, Marquette, Missouri State, Ohio State, Western Michigan and Xavier.

At 6-5, the younger version of Big Dog averaged 16 points and six boards as a sophomore last season. His dad lives in Atlanta, and works with Glenn III during the summer on his game.

“He wasn’t a guard, so he mostly helps me with my inside game,” Glenn III said. “I think I’m probably a better ballhandler than he is. He couldn’t dribble that well. But he’s about 6-7 and his inside game is better than mine.”

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