LAS VEGAS The Kings didn't draft Thomas Robinson to be a three-point shooter or a quarterback, but the rookie was trying to show he could shoot and pass from distance after Tuesday's practice.
Why? He wanted to relax.
Robinson has been hard on himself through three summer league games. He's shooting just 35.1 percent (13 of 37) while averaging 5.3 turnovers.
So before boarding the team bus after practice, Robinson challenged Darnell Jackson to a three-point shooting contest and dropped back like a quarterback to throw the basketball toward the hoop at the opposite end of the practice court at Cox Pavilion.
"I'm trying to take some of the stress off myself," Robinson said. "I've been beating myself up about these games, so I'm trying to get back to having fun."
Kings coach Keith Smart said Robinson is a willing student. One lesson Smart wants Robinson to learn is how to temper his emotions.
"I told him he has to learn how to let things go, because you have so many games," Smart said. "You have to let it go. You played bad, go back to the gym, work on your game, work on something, but let it go, because you can't have carry-over. This thing will eat you up if you do that."
Smart, however, believes it's easier to coach a player that is ramped up emotionally and tone him down than vice-versa.
"I prefer what his approach is, and our team is developing into something like that," Smart said.
Post work Smart worked with Robinson after practice, emphasizing how Robinson could be most effective in the post.
Robinson is learning that against professionals he won't be able to back down everyone he faces and how to play under control.
"(Smart was) just telling me to learn who I am as a player and using my strongest points to the max," Robinson said. " Not let my speed hurt me."
Smart said he takes notes while Bobby Jackson and Alex English coach the team. But there's no rush to fix everything in July.
"He's still trying to learn everything about the pro game, and you don't want to give him so much information that he can't play," Smart said. "I just want him to play."