For former BC star Jermone Robinson, NBA is a whole new ball game

Clippers rookie and former BC star Jerome Robinson believes his team can stay a playoff contender despite a massive roster shakeup at the NBA trade deadline.
Clippers rookie and former BC star Jerome Robinson believes his team can stay a playoff contender despite a massive roster shakeup at the NBA trade deadline. (FILE/HARRY HOW/Getty Images)

Before Clippers rookie and former Boston College star Jerome Robinson reached the NBA, he used to keep an eye on the trade deadline just like everyone else. But last week, he saw the business side of the league through a different lens, and it was a bit jarring.

Robinson was asleep last Wednesday, and when he woke up, his teammates Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott had been traded to the 76ers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and Landry Shamet.

Then on Thursday Robinson was asleep, and when he woke up former Celtic Avery Bradley had been sent to the Grizzlies and Muscala had been flipped to the Lakers. Los Angeles went on the waive Michael Beasley, Marcin Gortat, and Milos Teodosic.


And just like that, Robinson somehow became one of the more tenured Clippers.

“It was definitely a new and a crazy experience,” Robinson said before Saturday’s 123-112 Clippers comeback win in Boston. “It was weird. It was like, ‘Welcome. Just welcome everybody.’ But it’s cool. It happens. I still think we have a really good team to stay as a playoff contender.”

This season has been a learning experience for Robinson, who was selected with the 13th overall pick of last June’s draft. He played just eight minutes on Saturday, missing his only attempt against four fouls, but averaged 10.1 minutes, 3.7 points, and 1.1 rebounds in his first 20 games.

“The biggest change from college is as everything is around basketball,” Robinson said. “In college you have school and outside things. But this is your job, this is your 9-5. If you don’t perform, you don’t play.”

Robinson said he attended a BC practice in the fall and has remained in touch with his teammates. He is hopeful that the Eagles will be able to rebound from their 11-11 start.


“They’ve got a lot more games left,” Robinson said. “You’ve got to keep pushing. You don’t know where it’s going to break for you. They’ve had injuries as well. It’s tough but you’ve got to stick with it.”

Happy reunion

The Lakers and Clippers crossed paths briefly in Boston when they stayed at the same downtown hotel, and that allowed Clippers coach Doc Rivers to chat with his former Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo, about his buzzer-beating game winner against Boston on Thursday night.

“Rondo’s in a great place,” Rivers said. “He’s been in a great place, in my opinion. It started last year for him, but he’s really happy. We do talk a lot. He’s in a good place family-wise with his kids. It’s really cool to watch how mature he is. It’s really fun, good to see.”

Rivers smiled and said it confused him when he saw Kevin Garnett sitting courtside wearing a Rondo Celtics jersey.

“But it was a great look on him,” Rivers said. “The green was a very good look on him.”

Good cause

The friendship between Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Rivers has grown over the years thanks in part to their work together at an annual charity basketball event to benefit ABCD Youth Service Programs.

Rivers said that this year, he also reached out to Stevens about a basketball matter.

“I needed advice and one of the calls I made was to Brad,” Rivers said, “and he gave me some good advice.”


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.