Robinson hasn't played in more than a year
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs wanted the Mailman, but they'll settle for the Big Dog.
The Spurs signed former All-Star forward Glenn Robinson to a free-agent contract for the rest of the season. Terms of the contract, announced late Monday, were not released.
The hope is that Robinson, a proven scorer in 10 NBA seasons, will provide some offense for a team that at times has struggled to score since star forward Tim Duncan and swingman Devin Brown got hurt in late March.
"He's a heck of a shooter," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, "and we have some nights where we have trouble getting it in the hole."
Earlier this season the Spurs made a run at signing Karl Malone, but in February the Mailman said he lost the zeal for the game and retired instead.
Robinson, who hasn't played in more than a year due to injuries, was cut by New Orleans in early March, a week after he was acquired from Philadelphia.
The 6-foot-7 Robinson said going to the Spurs gives him a chance to resurrect his flagging career and contend for a title.
"This is one of the best teams in the NBA," he said. "All I have to do is to come in and help out. ... This is a new beginning."
The Spurs are 4-3 since Duncan was sidelined with a right ankle sprain in a March 20 loss at Detroit. Their scoring over that seven-game span is six points lower than their season average of 96.2 points per game, and only twice have they topped 46 percent shooting.
It's still not clear whether Duncan will return during the final nine regular-season games, which include three back-to-backs in eight days.
Brown, who averaged 15 points in his last eight games, has been out for six games with a lower back strain.
Popovich said Brown's injury raised the Spurs' interest in Robinson's shooting, as well as a defensive option when opponents go with small lineups.
Robinson is not known for his defense, but Popovich said they can work around that.
"The good thing is that he's intelligent and he understands the game," Popovich said. "He'll pick up the team-defense concept, so he won't have to be the best individual defender."
Robinson, who played college ball at Purdue, was the league's No. 1 draft pick by Milwaukee in 1994. He has averaged 20.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his career, most of it with the Bucks, and was a two-time All-Star.
With the 76ers last season, Robinson averaged 16.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 42 games before undergoing surgery on his right elbow in March 2004. He played in five preseason games before Philadelphia put him on the injured list Nov. 1 with left ankle tendinitis.
San Antonio waived guard Dion Glover to make room for Robinson.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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