Robinson remembers the night of a 44-point pounding at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, one that came with a post-game tweet and a text to coach Fizdale.
“Got to work on myself,” Robinson tweeted, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.
“I felt I needed to do more,” he said Thursday night. “Like stay out of foul trouble.”
Robinson, despite his towering size at 7-foot-1 and unrivaled athleticism, was prone to getting in foul trouble — reason for why he spend so much time buried in the bench.
After receiving the text from Robinson, Fizdale asked Robinson to keep playing hard, forging an agreement that for every reach-in foul, he'd have to run as punishment.
“Who wants to keep running all day in practice?” Robinson said. “Why not jump vertical? It worked out pretty great. I did it tonight.”
The results have been tough to argue with, in the 11 games since that loss to the Bucks, Robinson has played more minutes, fouling less, scoring more and rebounding at a much better rate. He's still a threat to block shots but has been reined in with better discipline — a reminder that the fundamentals of challenging shots will get him more results than sheer athletic gait.
Fizdale might not be on the Knicks' sidelines anymore, but his coaching still lives in Robinson, who's taken in his teachings, even after his firing.