*They say celebrity deaths come in threes. Yesterday/last night, of course, we learned of the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman.
Sadly, today we must announce the death of former NBA/Portland Trailblazers player Cliff Robinson. The former UConn star and longtime NBA top sixth man, was 53.
Robinson played in the league for 18 seasons and was know for his trademark head/sweatband as well as his nickname: “Uncle Cliffy.”
As of this posting, not case of death has been released for Robinson who will also be remembered for helping the Portland Trail Blazers reach two NBA Finals.
Robinson’s death was announced Saturday by the University of Connecticut, his alma mater.
“The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson,” the school’s men’s basketball program announced on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Cliff.”
The former NBAer is survived by his wife, Heather Lufkins, and his son, Isaiah.
Robinson’s former teammates paid tributes to the star athlete as news of his death broke.
Here are some tributes from Robinson’s former teammates:
“Devastated with the passing of one of the best teammates ever – Clifford Robinson” – Rex Chapman, who played with Robinson in Phoenix.
“I’m so glad it’s raining today. I’m gonna need it to hide my tears. Not my big bro man” – Donyell Marshall, who played with Robinson at UConn.
Eight-time NBA All-Star Steve Nash wrote:
“This hurts. GREAT teammate and have great memories starting my career with, Cliffy. Rest In Peace my guy.”
The Trailblazers also paid tribute to the former star:
“The Trail Blazers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Trail Blazers great Cliff Robinson. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Cliff’s family & loved ones,” they wrote.
“Uncle Cliffy will be greatly missed by the Trail Blazers & all of Rip City.'”
After his retirement, Robinson also appeared in ‘Survivor’ in 2014, finishing in 14th place.
After stepping away from the game Robinson appeared on CBS’ “Survivor” series in 2014, finishing 14th. He also an activist for legalizing marijuana as well as a weed seller.
“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,” he told the Las Vegas Sun in 2018. “Cannabis has always helped me with that.”
He suffered a stroke in March of 2017 that left him paralyzed along the left side of his body, according to the New York Post, but he had regained much of his arm and leg movement.
He also had a tumor removed from his jaw in 2018.