- Truck Robinson
Leonard Eugene Robinson (born
October 4, 1951in Jacksonville, Florida) was a power forward for the Washington Bullets(1974-77), Atlanta Hawks(1977), New Orleans Jazz (1977-79), Phoenix Suns(1979-82), and New York Knicks(1982-85).
He helped the Bullets win the 1975 NBA Eastern Conference and the Suns win the 1981 NBA Pacific Division.
Robinson was named to the 1978 East All-Star Team and the 1981 West All-Star Team.
He was named to the 1978 All-NBA First Team.
Robinson led the NBA in minutes played (3,638), defensive rebounds (990), total rebounds (1,288) and rebounds per game (15.7) during the 1977-78 season.
He ranks 86th on the NBA/ABA career offensive rebounds list (1,985), 43rd on the career defensive rebounds list (5,282), 81st on the total rebounds list (7,267) and 73rd on the career rebounds per game list (9.4).
In 11 seasons Robinson played in 772 games, stayed 25,141 minutes on the court and had a .483 field goal percentage (4,816 for 9,971), .662 free throw percentage (2,355 for 3,556), 7,267 total rebounds (1,985 offensive and 5,282 defensive), 1,348 assists, 533 steals, 510 blocks, 2,253 personal fouls and 11,988 points.
Known throughout the league as “Truck,” Leonard Robinson used his rugged body, intelligent playmaking, and sure shot to become one of the game’s best forwards in the 1970s and 1980s. Fundamentally sound in every area, he had the strength and physical attributes of a power forward along with the mobility of a small forward. He delivered a consistent cargo of offensive firepower and uncanny rebounding for 11 years in the NBA. A two-time All-Star, Robinson had his finest season with the New Orleans Jazz in 1977–78, when he averaged 22.7 points and led the NBA with 15.7 rebounds per game.
After starring at
Tennessee State University, Robinson was taken by the Washington Bulletsin the second round of the 1974 NBA Draft. As a rookie in 1974–75, Robinson had to wait his turn behind Elvin Hayesand Mike Riordanand averaged just 5.8 points in 13.1 minutes per game. He made small contributions on a Bullets team that reached the NBA Finals that year, losing to the Golden State Warriorsin four games.
Robinson’s playing time doubled in his sophomore season, and his scoring and rebounding numbers improved accordingly. But it wasn’t until the 1976–77 campaign, when the Bullets sent Robinson to Atlanta for
Tom Hendersonand a draft choice, that Robinson established himself as a star. In split duty between the Bullets and Hawks, Robinson averaged 19.0 points and 10.8 rebounds.
Prior to the 1977–78 season Robinson signed as a free agent with the New Olreans Jazz, and the Jazz sent the Hawks’ Ron Behagen as compensation. In his only full season with the Jazz, Robinson turned in the finest performance of his career. At just 6-foot-7, he became one of the few noncenters ever to lead the league in rebounding, grabbing 15.7 boards per game. He also notched his career-best scoring effort (22.7 ppg), made his first All-Star appearance, and was named to the All-NBA First Team at season’s end.
The Jazz, under Coach
Elgin Baylor, went 39-43 but missed the playoffs for the fourth time in their four-year history.Robinson started well in 1978–79, averaging 24.2 points and 13.4 rebounds through the first 43 games. But on January 12 the Jazz traded Robinson to the Phoenix Sunsfor two players and two first-round draft picks. The Suns boasted a deeper roster than the Jazz, and over the season’s final 26 games Robinson averaged just 16.0 points in 29.1 minutes per game. Phoenix won 50 games that year and advanced to the Western Conference Finals before losing to Seattle in seven games.
Over his next three seasons with the Suns, Robinson averaged at least 17 points and 9 rebounds each year. Following the 1981–82 campaign he was traded to the
New York Knicksfor Maurice Lucas. In 1982–83 Robinson suffered through the worst slump of his career, averaging just 9.5 points and 8.1 rebounds. Fans began complaining about their “truck with four flat tires.” He played another full season for New York—with similar results—before retiring in 1984–85.
In 11 NBA seasons Robinson amassed 11,988 points and 7,267 rebounds.
* [http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/robintr01.html Truck Robinson Career Statistics at basketball-reference.com] .
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