Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson Tribute
Glenn Robinson was not only one of the best scorers in NCAA history, he was hands down the best player in the country and unanimous No. 1 pick of the 1994 NBA draft, which included future co-Rookies of the Year Jason Kidd & Grant Hill. It might sound like a disappointment that the first pick was beat out by two other first-year players for the top rookie honor but many people credited the media hype around Hill & Kidd and the negative criticism that came with The Big Dog and his very big contract: rumored to be a $100 million deal before ending up at $68 million over 10 years, Glen Robinson signed the biggest rookie contract in NBA history during a nasty holdout that had Stern and the NBA worried.
Despite Rookie of the Month awards, a rookie-high of 22 points per game and solid stats, season after season, many hoop fans ignored the player that many felt was Melo before Melo and instead flocked to the high-flying game of Hill, the passing of (J)Ason Kidd (1/3 of the The Three Js that fought over Toni Braxton) and other young future stars.
One organization that didn’t ignore the young Buck was the USA committee when they selected Glenn to represent Dream Team 3 aka “The Redeem Team” in the 1996 Olympics. Unfortunately for Robinson, injuries prevented him from competing and winning a gold medal with young guns like Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway. He did return to the Bucks and eventually became a two-time All-Star in Milwaukee.
After his 2nd All-Star season in 2001, Robinson was traded to the Atlanta, where he put up another solid 20-point season. He was traded to Philly the following year and became one of the many players the 76ers thought might be a good Robin to Iverson’s Batman. He wasn’t a good Robin, and he wasn’t much of a help for the remaining years of his career, but he was signed as a free agent to the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and won a championship there before retiring. It was the ending of a misunderstood career that we all hoped Tracy McGrady would have had in his final season.
Some people wanted more from him and his career and consider him a “bust” because of his potential, but as I look at the autographed Glenn Robinson ball that was given to me as a gift after I saw him baptize Chris Dudley, the only thing I can think of saying to the Big Dog is “thanks for the good memories.”
As a big Big Dog fan, it was also a pleasure to meet his son Glenn Robinson III, who played in our 2nd annual Ballislife All-American Game and is now in the NBA.