On one hand, Timberwolves point guard Will Conroy, a journeyman hoping to make Minnesotas roster, isnt at those Berto Center practices, so he doesnt know the wrath of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
On the other hand, hes known Nate Robinson since their pre-teen days and played alongside him at the University of Washington.
I think Nates smart enough to figure it out. One thing I know about Nate is Nates going to be Nate. Thats the reason why hes in the position hes in, being successful in the NBA. Sometimes they say what your strength is also your weakness, Conroy told CSNChicago.com, referencing, in part, his fellow Seattle natives off-the-backboard alley-oop in the Bulls win Tuesday over Milwaukee.
Hes smart enough to adapt to where he knows, Okay, I need to get on the floor. Im not going to do that, and when youre successful at a high rate, coaches are going to allow it. I think the play was completed and Jimmy Butler finished it with a dunk, right? So it didnt look bad on SportsCenter.
Conroy has known Robinson since the diminutive freak athlete was making a name in the sport that he was awarded a scholarship to college for... football.
He played for the rival team of my little league football team, so Ive kind of known Nate since we were in middle school, Conroy said of Robinson, who was a freshman starter at defensive back for Washington before giving up the sport to play basketball on a full-time basis, and whose father, Jacques, was an NFL player.
Just like Darren Sproles. Hes the same kind of talent. Nate, hes one of those guys, when he gets the ball in his hands, its so hard to bring him down. Watching him play football, he scored like six or seven touchdowns in a high school game. He was one of those guys, when the ball gets in his hands, hes going to make something special happen.
When Conroy and Robinson played together at Washington, Conroy was the Huskies point guard and Timberwolves starting shooting guard Brandon Roy, also shared some of the ballhandling duties. Robinson was mostly deployed as a scorer, something hes known as in the NBA, but Conroy, a traditional playmaker whos excelled in the D-League but has yet to find a permanent NBA home, thinks his former teammate has made a lot of progress.
Hes made great adjustments. Hes matured so much at the point-guard position. I thought it started a lot when he went to Boston and kind of continued on when he was in Golden State, and I watched him play when he played us in Minnesota last week, he observed. Hes really starting to understand the position, and pick and choose when to get his, and look for other guys continuously. Ive thought, so far, hes done a great job in transitioning to being a true point guard.
Friday was a bit of Seattle and Washington reunion, as Robinson and Conroy guarded each other for a stretch, with Roy also on the court.
All Seattle people are a close-knit group. We all worked out in the summertime together and we all root for each other, said Conroy. When we see each other doing well, it just gives Seattle a bright spot.