NBA All-Star and former Portland Trail Blazers player Cliff Robinson has passed away. He was 53.
Robinson’s alma mater, University of Connecticut, confirmed the news on Saturday (Aug. 29). His cause of death is unknown at this time.
“He was our first great player,” former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “He came from a difficult background in Buffalo, I watched him evolve as a man…He was a good man, had a great career, and was instrumental in a lot of the great things that happened at UConn.”
According to Calhoun, Robinson suffered a stroke in 2017, paralyzing the left side of his body. In 2018, he had a tumor removed from his jaw.
The dynamic 6-foot-10 athlete from Buffalo, New York played at UConn from 1985-89.
Following his impressive time at the university level, Robinson began playing for the Portland Trail Blazers where he spent eight years of his career and assisted in helping them make it to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.
He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1993. In 1994 he was crowned as an NBA All-Star.
“The Trail Blazers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Trail Blazers great Cliff Robinson,” the team said in a statement. “…His personality and energy were unmatched, and his contributions on the court were unmistakable, helping the Trail Blazers into the playoffs each of his eight seasons with the team. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Cliff’s family and loved ones. Uncle Cliffy will be greatly missed by the Trail Blazers and all of Rip City.”
During his time in the NBA, Robinson played for the Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns. UConn retired Robinson’s No. 00 in 2007, the same year he retired from the Nets.
Following his professional career, Robinson starred as a contestant on CBS reality show “Survivor.” He also became a cannabis advocate and rallied for the legalization of marijuana.
“If you play 18 years in the NBA and perform over an 82-game schedule, you’re going to deal with anxiety issues and your ability to relax,” Robinson told the Las Vegas Sun in 2018. “Cannabis has always helped me with that.”
Robinson will forever be known to be an inspiration to many and his legacy will live on.
REVOLT sends its condolences to Robinson’s family, friends and colleagues at this time.