Dwyane Wade discusses his relationship with Glenn Robinson III

When Glenn Robinson III entered the NBA, the 40th overall pick in 2014, he went the unconventional route and signed with Chinese brand Li-Ning.

A few years later, after he signed with the Pacers and got the opportunity he had hoped, he started wearing Dwyane Wade’s brand under Li-Ning’s umbrella, Way of Wade.

“Over the course of time, I built a relationship him,” Dwyane said Glenn. “I knew his dad from when I played at Marquette, his dad played for Milwaukee. And I just built a relationship with him and I like him. After getting to know him, I wanted him to move over to my brand [Way of Wade]. I felt he represented what I want an athlete to represent. And we just gained a relationship from there.”

During his rookie season, Robinson III played 25 games with Minnesota and then waived him because they were overloaded at the position. The Philadelphia 76ers claimed him off waivers and he averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10 games. He became a free agent and the Pacers, who were enamored with him since the 2014 NBA Draft, quickly signed him to a three-year deal.

III’s Li-Ning game shoes with Brody Stephens’ writing.

After averaging nearly 21 minute per game last season, he looked forward to a larger role and potentially competing with Bojan Bogdanovic for the starting wing spot. Only that chance didn’t happen in camp. He suffered a bad left ankle injury that required surgery in early October.

“Great kid. He has a bright, bright future,” Wade said. “A big upside. Unfortunately he had the injury early, but I’m glad it wasn’t season-ending for him and he’ll get an opportunity to come back and play.

“We communicate a lot. It’s not always talking about basketball. If I didn’t have a relationship with him with my shoe brand, I think he’s someone that I genuinely just like. I love the way he approaches the game, the way he approaches his life in general. He’s a mature guy.”

Glenn’s deal with Li-Ning sent him to China over the summer to promote the brand.

Robinson III got out of a boot last week and started shooting set shots. He’s doing more and more on the court each day and is eager to return. After a short stint as the public relations intern for David Benner — a joke that started with Paul George in 2014 — Robinson III joined his teammates on the bench for games last week.

They won all four of them.

The Pacers aren’t publicly stating a timeline for him to return, which is the right call. Media and fans alike want something more specific, but that’s the right move for an organization. It also doesn’t rush him back.

“I’m not even going to try to guess on [when he might return],” McMillan said before Thanksgiving. “He’s getting better and that’s a good sign.”

Robinson III, who’s just 23 and in a contract year, averaged 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season. His confidence was through the roof last spring after being crowned Slam Dunk Champion at the 2017 All-Star Game.

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