The best Clipper to wear no. 26 is also the only one: James Robinson.
If the 84-game Clippers career of James “Hollywood” Robinson doesn’t ring a bell, rest assured you’re not alone.
Hollywood was drafted in the first round in 1993 to the Portland Trail Blazers, earning his nickname because of his outsized personality and penchant for highlights. He disappointed in his first year and a half in Portland, but showed enough in his third and fourth years in the league to earn a 5 year, $10.5 million contract from the Clippers in 1997. He would compete to be the team’s starting shooting guard.
Robinson’s Clippers career got off to a rocky start; he said he was “confused” and still learning the offense one month into the season. He shot 28.6% over his first 26 games, and after one stretch of making just 2-of-16 shots over four games, he told the media:
“If I was the owner, I wouldn’t even pay me, I’m struggling too bad.”
It’s probably against the salary cap, but as a Clipper, I would be terrified of saying anything like that around Donald Sterling for fear of him calling my bluff.
The most memorable moment of Robinson’s early Clippers tenure was likely when he got ejected against the San Antonio Spurs for slamming on the ball on the court because he thought a rookie Tim Duncan was getting preferential calls.
Robinson eventually turned it around, earning the starting job in March of that season. He made some impact on the defensive end, but never quite turned into a good enough offensive player to earn his place. He ended his Clippers career averaging 7.8 points, 1.8 assists, and 0.6 steals per game while shooting 39.1% from the field. The Clippers waived the next year, and Robinson’s NBA career was essentially over. Robinson now works for the BIG3 as a youth 3-on-3 coach.
Just for fun, here’s a look at Robinson’s appearance in the 1994 Slam Dunk Contest.
Be back tomorrow with no. 27.