Even as Duncan Robinson’s future with the Miami Heat remains somewhat murky amid an offseason of trade rumors, the 3-point specialist has cleared the air.
And for that aspect of his personal growth he credits former Heat teammate Rodney McGruder.
On this week’s edition of his podcast, Robinson offered a follow-up from a previous edition of The Long Shot, when he said he was planning nose surgery.
Now, Robinson said, he is breathing easier.
“I’ve mostly focused on improving and playing a lot,” he said on the podcast that was taped during summer league. “I actually had surgery, very minor. It was an optional surgery. I had an old fracture in my nose, and I couldn’t breathe out of one of my nostrils, basically my whole life, since I was like in seventh grade.
“So an old teammate of mine, Rodney McGruder, he also had the surgery. I reached out to him and asked him like, ‘What was the experience?’ And he said it was life-changing for sleep, conditioning, everything. So I got a consultation and turns out my right nostril is 90 percent blocked. So I was getting like half the air that I could have.”
Robinson said he is now reaping the benefits.
“It was brutal for like 10 days,” he said. “But we’re on the other side of that now, thankfully. I can breathe. It’s amazing. I feel like a new man.”
With Robinson due $16.9 million this coming season in the second year of the five-year, $90 million contract received a year ago, he has been linked to several potential Heat bids to add another leading man this offseason, including Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
Having emerged from humble Heat beginnings on a two-way contract in 2018, Robinson during his latest podcast spoke of the immersive nature of Heat culture during the discussion with former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye.
“I don’t want to say it exists more in like theory,” Robinson said. “Like the culture aspect is real, and it’s what we talk about a lot. I think it more comes down to a certain level of accountability.
“It’s like maximizing every single day. Like they’re never gonna, at any point of the season, they’re never just going to let you have a day where you’re not just showing up and checking a box. They’re going to make sure you’re in the weight room, watching film.
“I do feel like in theory what’s talked around the league, it’s talked about like it’s some crazy . . . I really just think it’s about they really just prioritize being a professional.”
But he acknowledged there are particularly challenging elements.
“The body-fat thing is real. It’s about once a week,” he said.
“That’s the thing that kind of bothers, is that we’ll like play in Chicago, we get on the plane, and we’re heading back to Miami, and we got deep-dish pizza on there. And we wake up the next morning, it’s like, ‘You got weight and body fat.’
“So people are like looking at the pizza and people are like, ‘We had it tomorrow? What’s going on?’ So it’s like a little game in that.”
Robinson also offered an anecdote about teammate Kyle Lowry and how the veteran point guard has a unique way of keeping referees on point.
“When we first got Kyle last year, this was like early on in preseason, I think everybody knows Kyle gives the refs a pretty hard time,” Robinson said. “But he would tell me — that I don’t know if he got film, tape, a book, I don’t know, a manual — but he has memorized where on the floor all the refs are supposed to be as the ball moves through the halfcourt.
“So what he does is he goes at refs if they’re not in the right spots. So if somebody makes a call, he’ll be like, ‘You can’t make that call. You’re not in the right spot.’ “