Cliff Robinson guided UConn out from rock bottom and almost helped take the Portland Trail Blazers to the highest .
He was one among the NBA’s best sixth men, a flexible player who became a predecessor of the fashionable center.
Not bad for a man who was warned he won’t even get a second season in Storrs.
“He averaged five points as a freshman and that i remember I told him, ’You have two choices: I can kick you out if you retain doing what you are doing , or I’m getting to watch you play tons of years within the NBA,’” former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “He chose the latter, which was good.”
Robinson died Saturday at 53, remembered the maximum amount for his personality as his skills by the teams he played for during an 18-year career.
Trail Blazers remember Cliff Robinson
“His personality and energy were unmatched, and his contributions on the field were evident, as he helped the Trail Blazers in playoffs in each of his eight seasons with the team,” said Blazers.
“His streak of 461 consecutive games played with the Trail Blazers still stands as a franchise record, which may be a testament to his diligence and dedication to the team. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Cliff Robinson family and their loved ones. Uncle Cliffy Robinson are going to be greatly missed by the Trail Blazers and every one of Rip City.”
No explanation for death was given, though Calhoun said Robinson had a stroke 2 1/2 years ago. Shams Charania of The Athletic later reported a press release from the family that indicated Robinson had been battling lymphoma.
“It’s really sad to listen to of this, because he was one among my kids, my players, a person I watched grow into a man,” Calhoun said. “It’s not a simple thing.”
Robinson helped the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. He not only never missed the postseason in Portland but hardly missed any games in the least , playing all 82 in each of his first five seasons and never appearing in fewer than 75.
“RIP Cliff Robinson – A number of my early memories of NBA basketball were yours as the lifeblood of the Blazers teams in the early / mid 1990s. The Memorial Coliseum days!! Cleveland star Kevin Love, who grew up in Oregon, tweeted.
Cliff Robinson was born on Dec. 16, 1966, in Buffalo, New York. He was the focus of UConn’s early Calhoun teams. He played in Storrs from 1985-89, helping guide the Huskies from rock bottom of the large East to the 1988 NIT championship.
Robinson averaged just 5.6 points as a freshman, but scored 20 in a match with an adult before becoming the Blazers’ second round pick.
“He was our first great player,” Calhoun said. “He gave legitimacy to the program.
“As an up-and-coming player here is this guy on TV playing Trail Blazers, watching him play, watching a male UConn. you’ll not buy the exposure that he gave us.”
Robinson was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1993 and made his lone All-Star appearance the subsequent year. At 6-foot-11, he had the dimensions of a middle but was a talented outside shooter.
He played 1,380 games within the league, ranking within the top 15 all-time. Besides the Blazers, Robinson also played for Phoenix, Detroit, California and therefore the Nets.
The Blazers took the ground Saturday wearing headbands in his honor.
Cliff Robinson was the accomplished professional who loved the sport and played with an incredible sense of joy and intensity during his remarkable 18-year career, including two seasons with soldiers ,” California said.
Reported by : NBA