ATLANTA — When he’s not grabbing offensive rebounds for the team in the big city, Mitchell Robinson is unapologetically, almost absurdly, a country boy.
It’s not just the Bass Pro Shops attire or the phrases. It’s a lifestyle that gravitates to the outdoors, fishing, country music, gigantic trucks and animals.
Lots of animals.
“I have 19 dogs,” Robinson, who grew up in the Bayou, told The Post.
If you’re wondering how that’s possible, Robinson keeps them in his two homes, one in New York, the other in Louisiana.
He had eight rottweilers — including the eldest, a homebody named Kodak — and eventually that multiplied with puppies.
There’s also a lab and a golden retriever.
Robinson, 25, used to have sugar gliders, which are essentially acrobatic possums.
Sadly, Robinson’s cats killed the sugar gliders.
“I want ferrets,” he added.
Robinson’s house might seem like a hectic zoo, but he’s more comfortable in that environment than, most notably, New York City.
It’s partly why he settled on White Plains over Manhattan for his residence as he developed into one the NBA’s premier rebounders.
“[NYC] is just too fast-paced for me,” he said. “It’s just not me. It’s too bunched up. I like space.”
Robinson grew up with that space in Louisiana and Pensacola, Fla., where he started fishing off the pier at Sanders Beach at about 6 years old. He upgraded to fishing off a boat and developed a knack for catching redfish.
“I cook ’em,’ he said. “Hell yeah, I grill my fish.”
Off the water, Robinson most appreciates the tunes of Morgan Wallen, a country music artist whose singles include, “Redneck Love Song.”
“If you followed my TikTok, you’d know that,” Robinson said of his Wallen fandom.
If this weren’t all country enough, Robinson also has an obsession with trucks and decked out his three with giant rims. He was invited to display them in shows in Las Vegas and Philadelphia, which gives Robinson an outlet for artistic expression.
“You could compete, show your trucks off, get sponsorships, all that stuff,” Robinson said. “Show your work. Your idea. Your creativity.”
Robinson’s job as the starting Knicks center is much more brute force than artistry.
After being drafted in the second round and securing, against the odds, a $60 million contract, Robinson became Tom Thibodeau’s very trusted defender of the paint.
His job, for the most part, is to deter shots, block shots, clean up missed shots, dunk sometimes and work on free throws.
It’s typically a thankless task, but Robinson is finally getting recognition for his importance.
He entered Thursday’s game as the NBA’s top offensive rebounder at 5.8 per game, which, if upheld for the season, would only trail Moses Malone, Jayson Williams and Dennis Rodman for the most since those stats were recorded.
The ascension has landed Robinson in the early conversation for an All-Defense selection, which would certainly please his best buddy on the Knicks, German backup center Isaiah Hartenstein, who wore a T-shirt last week with Robinson’s face on the front.
“That’s my guy. That’s why I wore the shirt,” Hartenstein said. “I always support him. I’m really proud of how he’s playing this year, to be honest.”
It’s an odd couple, Hartenstein acknowledged, the German and the country boy.
But they share a position and a sense of humor.
“I think it kind of happened that we joke around a lot,” Hartenstein said. “I’m just a little nicer to y’all [reporters]. I have a little bit of a better filter.”
Perhaps Robinson is straightforward because that’s where he’s from.
“Down in Louisiana, it’s so flat,” he said. “In New York, you got all these hills.”