Robinson out of 76ers' lineup
Former Indiana Mr. Basketball told he will not be starter when season opens.
By Dan Gelston
October 27, 2004
PHILADELPHIA -- Glenn Robinson and Samuel Dalembert have been demoted from the Philadelphia 76ers' starting lineup, coach Jim O'Brien announced Tuesday as he put the first stamp on his new team.
O'Brien named veterans Aaron McKie and Marc Jackson and rookie Andre Iguodala to the starting lineup.
McKie beat out Willie Green to be the starter at shooting guard, Iguodala gets Robinson's old spot at small forward, and Jackson takes over from Dalembert at center.
Allen Iverson, who will play point guard rather than shooting guard, and Kenny Thomas will be the other starters for Philadelphia's season opener Nov. 3 against Boston.
Robinson, a former Indianapolis Star Indiana Mr. Basketball at Gary Roosevelt High School, did not play in an exhibition game against Utah on Tuesday night and left the locker room before the game to tend to unrelated family matters.
Robinson, a former Purdue star who is entering his 11th season, has started 668 of 679 career games and has a 20.8 points per game career scoring average.
"Glenn took it about as good as any NBA player has ever taken news that he was not going to be in the starting lineup," O'Brien said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for the professional way he handled the situation."
Robinson griped about playing time last season when injuries shortened his first season in Philadelphia to a career-low 42 games. Robinson dedicated himself to offseason workout programs and proclaimed in training camp to be in his best shape in years.
Dalembert was one of two Sixers to play in all 82 games last season and was ninth in the league with 2.3 blocks per game. While he was shooting 74 percent in the preseason, he struggled at times adapting to O'Brien's defensive scheme.
"It does matter for me. I'm not going to lie. I do want to start," Dalembert said last week when asked about the possibility of losing his starting job.
O'Brien valued the maturity and experience of Jackson and McKie, both former Temple standouts. Iguodala made an early impact during training camp, grabbing rebounds and leading the charge on the fast break.
Green played in 53 games last season but was shooting only 40 percent from the floor in the preseason, including 0-for-6 and 5-for-14 efforts against Toronto.
"There's nothing that he has done that would not tell me he's the player I talked about this summer," O'Brien said. "He needs to get the starting job. He needs to battle Aaron, and Aaron has to not relinquish easily."
Anybody care to guess what would we have to give up to get Dalembert?