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Nets’ DeAndre Jordan looks back on how he got Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson to loosen up

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Brooklyn Nets veteran center DeAndre Jordan only spent a brief three months as a member of the New York Knicks during the 2018-29 season, but apparently he was able to rub off on young center Mitchell Robinson, New York’s emerging rising star.

Mitchell Robinson, 21, was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft by the Knicks after spending the year working out for the draft following his abrupt departure from Western Kentucky University. He grew up in Florida and Louisiana, and his sudden appearance in the Big Apple with the big, bad New York media saw Robinson turn into an introvert. In his second season, however, Robinson has since come out of his shell, with Jordan claiming part of that transformation per ESPN’s Malika Andrews,

“I was like, ‘Man, you got a big-ass nose,'” Jordan says, laughing. “He was like, ‘What?!’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, let me look at it from the side,’ and then he started laughing. For the two months I was there, it was like, ‘Mitch won’t f—ing shut up!'”

Robinson is having a strong sophomore campaign for a relatively unknown second-round pick (he was a McDonald’s All-American, however), averaging 9.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. The second-year center is known for swatting shots and almost entirely populating his shot selection with dunks and layups, noted by his league-leading 71.6 field goal percentage.

Robinson has been in and out of the starting lineup for the Knicks in spite of his burgeoning potential, though. Fouling has been a huge issue for him with Mike Miller—New York’s interim head coach following David Fizdale’s dismissal in December—keeping Robinson coming off the pine since the coaching change.