August 1, 2023 

How Danielle Robinson’s impact for the Dream goes beyond the box score

Haley Jones: 'DRob is one of the best leaders I’ve had the opportunity to play with'

ATLANTA – Atlanta Dream guard Danielle Robinson is unequivocally one of the best point guards in WNBA history. She is second all-time in career assists in Las Vegas Aces franchise history, a three-time All-Star, and 10th all-time in career assists in league history, surpassing her current head coach Tanisha Wright on July 25.

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Robinson played alongside Wright with the Minnesota Lynx in 2018 and under Wright in Las Vegas when she served as an assistant from 2020 to 2021.

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“I’m happy for DRob; it just shows the longevity she’s had in her career,” Wright told the media on Robinson passing her in assists. “I guess it’s fun to do it playing for me, knowing my record is the one that was broken. All good times and I hope she continues to rack them up.”

The Dream acquired the 34-year-old on Jan. 13 with second-year guard Kristy Wallace headed to Indiana. Robinson’s familiarity with Wright, her leadership value to the second-youngest team in the league, and her steady point guard play were all enticing reasons to add her to the fold.

Danielle Robinson (No. 3) pictured alongside teammates and assistant coach Barbara Turner during a road game in Washington
Danielle Robinson (No. 3) pictured alongside teammates and assistant coach Barbara Turner during a road game in Washington (Photo credit: Domenic Allegra, The Next)

“I joke that the average age of this roster is 26, but if you take Danielle [Robinson] out, it’s 25, and there’s some truth to that, experience matters,” Atlanta Dream general manager Dan Padover told sideline reporter Tabitha Turner during the regional broadcast on July 20. “Having an experience point guard like [Robinson] helps… and we’ve felt her experience not just in games, but also in practice; it’s been a comfort for everybody.”

One teammate in particular that Robinson has mentored this season is rookie guard Haley Jones, a fellow Archbishop Mitty High School alum, albeit Robinson graduated 12 years prior.

“I think the veterans did a very good job of being welcoming and setting the scene; I was asking questions to DRob over there [before practice] while we were stretching,” Jones told the media after Day 1 of training camp.

Since then, Robinson’s leadership role for Jones has only grown, even with Robinson sidelined for eight straight games with a left knee injury in the early part of the season.

“DRob is one of the best leaders I’ve had the opportunity to play with,” Jones told The Next. “It’s her communication; she’s also really good at creating that relationship off the court as well, so there’s that trust there. She’s just someone that you respect; she’s been great for me personally, but for the whole team, we can look to DRob if things aren’t going right, and she’ll get on us, crack a joke, lighten the mood, just whatever we need at that moment.”

Robinson is 7th on the team in scoring (5.0 points per game), but her impact goes beyond the box score and there’s stability in a guard with her experience. She has never averaged a negative assist-to-turnover ratio in a season and has experienced the highs and lows of the WNBA – from a 5-31 season with the Fever in 2022 to multiple deep playoff trips.

“I lead by example and that’s my biggest thing; it’s about showing when it’s supposed to sound like and what it’s supposed to feel like [in the WNBA],” Robinson said.

Now, Robinson is 60 assists shy of surpassing Tamika Catchings for No. 9 all-time in career assists, according to Across The Timeline.

Written by Hunter Cruse

Hunter Cruse covers the Atlanta Dream and the WNBA Draft for The Next.

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