Duncan Robinson turned to sports psychologists during rough stretch after signing contract extension

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Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson hit some rocky waters in his NBA career after signing the biggest contract of his life in the 2021 offseason.

The wing lost his spot in the Heat’s starting lineup near the end of the 2021-22 season, and his spot in the rotation — let alone the starting lineup — was inconsistent throughout the 2022-23 campaign.

But this season, he looks like a brand new player, and each of his last 13 appearances for the Heat have been starts.

During his rough stretch, Robinson turned to “friends, family and sports psychologists who he has close relationships with,” per the Miami Herald.

He spoke about how he navigated that stretch of his career during a time in which he was dealing with heightened expectations and pressure.

“This was something that I discussed internally with some close friends of mine and my family that for the first time, the goalposts shifted,” said Robinson. “I was always kind of like the guy coming up or whatever. If I did anything, it was like: ‘Oh, wow. It’s like found money. Look at this undrafted dude, overachiever.’

“I think I let the narrative shift in my mind more than it should have or I let it influence my own thoughts more than it should have. I have the understanding and perspective to look back now and be like, nothing actually changed and nothing needed to change. I could have just kept being myself.”

Robinson is currently enjoying perhaps the best season of his NBA career. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Moreover, over his last 13 appearances (since he was inserted into the starting lineup), he’s averaging 16.8 points per game to go along with a lethal 3-point percentage of 45.3.

There was a lot of chatter and criticism directed at Robinson in recent seasons as he failed to live up to the expectations that often come with a contract like his, but the veteran never quit, and he’s now turning into a very well-rounded player after once being seen as more of a 3-point specialist.

Robinson’s next chance to add a page to this exciting chapter will come on Wednesday when the Heat play host to the Charlotte Hornets. Miami is a few games over .500 at 13-10 this season. With four straight home games coming up, the squad may be able to build some momentum in the coming days.

Barring some sort of trade or similar transaction, Robinson’s time with the Heat isn’t coming to an end anytime soon, so his growth is a wonderful development for all involved parties.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.