COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. It was a simple game of 4-on-4 in his second day of practice.
But it only took a few seconds for Thomas Robinson to show why the Kings are so happy to have him.
There was a missed shot and a rebound to be had, and the rookie from Kansas made sure no one else would grab the basketball.
Robinson sprinted toward the basket and snatched the ball off the rim for a powerful dunk.
Hustle, athleticism and enthusiasm all in one fell swoop.
The Kings have needed someone to play like that for a while.
Robinson's combination of athleticism and uncontainable effort were just two of the reasons he was the second player on the Kings' draft board. So when Robinson was available at No. 5, there was no way Sacramento was passing on the All-America forward.
And at these very early stages of his career, Robinson is who the Kings thought he was.
"I was more comfortable out there than I thought I'd be, so it's been good so far," said Robinson of his first week of NBA training camp. "I'm just trying to pick up everything I can."
Kings coach Keith Smart has praised Robinson's effort and technique in defending the post. Smart credits that to Robinson playing three seasons at Kansas instead of being a one-and-done player like many lottery picks.
"You have to practice hard and play hard (at Kansas)," Smart said. "Obviously, he does those things. The next part of that is he comes in as a true veteran in a sense because the little things rookies go through, the frustration, he's already gone through that in his life off the floor."
The Kings tried to add athleticism and hustle to the frontcourt last year when they traded a conditional first-round pick for power forward J.J. Hickson. Hickson, however, shot below 40 percent, never brought the energy the Kings expected and eventually was bought out and waived.
Robinson's effort is unlikely to be questioned, but that doesn't mean he'll have a seamless transition to professional basketball.
"I think he's ready to play from a physical standpoint from what he gives, but there's still a lot of things he's still going to have to learn," Smart said. "And I'll know that when I put him in some of the preseason games and see what happens there. Because he's going to have to play against longer, faster guys in the position he's going to play. So rather than say, here goes the starting position for you, I've got to see how he manages."
Robinson isn't concerned about whether he starts, considering he didn't start full time at Kansas until last season.
"Everything is not easy, so it doesn't matter to me," Robinson said. "Coming off the bench or starting, whatever the case, it really doesn't matter to me."
Robinson has the same philosophy about scoring. Without being told, he knows his role.
"I know I'm not going to get the first shot, so I'll just try to get mine off the rebound, fast breaks and things like that," Robinson said. "I have to get in where I fit in until I find my comfort spot."
Robinson's effort and enthusiasm have caught the eye of his teammates. His attitude will only continue to impress the veterans.
"(He's) a guy with a high motor and obviously he can talk on defense as well," said forward Jason Thompson. "It only can help us."