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Mitchell Robinson named to Select Team at Team USA training camp

Next stop, the actual Olympics?

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Where would we be right now without Mitchell Robinson?
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Mitchell Robinson has received an invitation to join the so-called select team at USA Basketball training camp, which means the Block Ness Monster will have the chance to vie for a spot on the men’s basketball team in the 2020 Olympics.

That’s right, our very own former 36th overall draft pick has played his way into some serious opportunity. Per Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Robinson has been invited to participate on the 10-man select team at USA Basketball’s training camp later this summer.

According to Bleacher Report, the select team is made up of 10 “up-and-coming players who are being considered for Team USA’s final roster in the 2020 Olympics,” which will be held in Japan. The select team is the group that plays against the actual USA Basketball team during practice, so the NBA has a vested interest in ensuring that competition is fierce.

Lest you think it would be an overreaction to take this news and think it means there’s a possibility Robinson could make the actual team USA, consider that Devin Booker was originally a select team guy back in 2016, and in April 2018 he was named to the Team USA squad proper. There’s precedent.

It’s wonderful to hear that the USA basketball community has noticed what Robinson brings to the table, especially since he for some reason doesn’t seem to be all that well-known by the basketball watching community at large. Sure, people that know what’s up generally get that he can rock the rim and block lots of balls, but us Knicks fans have seen the light; Mitchell Robinson has the chance to have a great career. He’s elite at shot blocking, and improved in other aspects of playing defense over the course of last season, including by limiting careless fouls.

On offense, he’s still raw, but he gobbles up offensive rebounds and throws down dunks like no other. He is stretchy and dominant, and could also be called the King of Lobs. He’ll make Team USA players work for their buckets, and then he might even make Team USA.

Imagine Robinson playing in Tokyo in 2020, where he’d be able to swipe balls from off the rim and not be called for goaltending. He might set the world record for blocks.

Kudos to Robinson’s agent, Mayar Zokaei, who is always using good ol’ social media to pump up his player and tell the world how good Robinson is. While there may be no metrics to measure how much of a factor Zokaei has been in helping Mitch become more well-known, it’s great to have someone with such a positive attitude around these parts. In fact, it’s necessary right now.

Robinson will have a chance to celebrate the news tonight, when the Summer League Knicks tip off against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Welcome to the NBA, Zion. Meet Mitchell Robinson.