Clifford Robinson was a durable and reliable big man for the Portland Trail Blazers, becoming an All-Star there in the process. Lovingly known as Uncle Cliffy, the former player has died according to reports.
One of the earliest reports of Robinson’s passing came from the UCONN Twitter account, which tweeted, “The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time.”
Robinson was born on December 16, 1966 in Buffalo, N.Y. After attending high school at Riverside Insitute of Technology, Robinson joined the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team in 1985. As a four-year member of the Huskies, Robinson helped the team win its NIT Tournament championship in 1988 then entered into the 1989 NBA Draft.
Selected in the second round at 36 by the Portland Trailblazers, the durable big man spent eight seasons with the squad, which made the playoffs every year of his tenure there.
Robinson won the 1992-1993 Sixth Man of the Year Award, and was named to the All-Star Team in 1994, while gaining his highest scoring average of 21.5 points in the 94-95 season. Robinson then signed with the Phoenix Suns in 1997, spending four seasons there before spending a handful of seasons each with the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets before retiring.
Robinson also dabbled in television as a cast member of the reality series, Survivor, appearing on the show in 2013. Beyond reality shows, Robinson was also a cannabis business owner and his Uncle Cliffy brand was in full swing. He reportedly suffered a stroke in 2017 and had a tumor removed from his jaw the following year. It has not been reported how Robinson passed.
He was 53.
12.16.66-08.29.20 RIP Clifford Robinson— 🦯🦯🦯 (@I_M_R_) August 29, 2020
2020 sucks.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 29, 2020
Devastated with the passing of one of the best teammates ever - Clifford Robinson.
Guy absolutely loved to hoop. Never missed practice. Guarded the toughest guy every night and was a walking bucket.
A great dad. Laughed every day.
Res, bro. Rest, Cliffy.🏀❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/pLBwJdLOyk
RIP CLIFF ROBINSON. SAD TO SEE YOU GO. ONE OF THE ALL TIME FAN FAVORITES pic.twitter.com/8s3Fzaw9oa— TRILLBLAZIN JR. (@TRILLBLAZIN) August 29, 2020
RIP Cliff Robinson. The Portland Trail Blazers from 1989 to 1992 were one of the best teams to never win a championship. It’s hard to believe Cliff, Jerome Kersey and Kevin Duckworth are gone. pic.twitter.com/JVlf9yLIXr— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 29, 2020
Rest In Peace to my brother Cliff Robinson. Eff 2020 man... pic.twitter.com/rabcjcZWBF— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) August 29, 2020
Really sad to see that Cliff Robinson passed away. RIP Uncle Cliffy!— Rob Cesternino 🛎 (@robcesternino) August 29, 2020
Rest in Peace & Power to the wonderful Cliff Robinson. A legend on the court and on the island 💔🔥🌴😔 pic.twitter.com/k1IpXgASvA— Figgy (@hashtagfiggy) August 29, 2020
Nah I need to take a break from twitter right now this is too much. Now Cliff Robinson (NBA & Survivor: Cagayan) died too 😭😭 May he rest in heavenly peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/tiWkJsCDpt— Mel 🇨🇦 (@melbrown00) August 29, 2020
My Prayers and Sentiment to the families that lost love ones. Big SALUTE to my friend NBA Great Cliff Robinson & the Awesome Actor Chadwick Boseman. Their mark on this world is APPRECIATED, HONORED & RESPECTED!— Joe Torry (@joetorry1) August 29, 2020
R.I.P. Cliffy Rob & Chaddy Bo I SALUTE YOU BOTH!💜💜👏🏾👏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/8l2kToknYd
Godspeed to Cliff Robinson, an underrated NBA player. Years ago, I was in Circle Centre, and he was in town to play the Pacers. Robinson was playing the Indy 500 video game, and paid for hours for people to play against him. He was really good- and nice to everyone. pic.twitter.com/Ria8akOJGU— Jake Query (@jakequery) August 29, 2020
RIP Uncle Cliffy, Survivor/UConn legend. Fire 2020 into the damn sun. pic.twitter.com/0LkDbKrjbf— Russell Steinberg (@Russ_Steinberg) August 29, 2020
In another devastating blow, former Portland Trail Blazers great Clifford Robinson has passed away.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 29, 2020
Heartbreaking to hear Clifford Robinson has passed. For the longest stretch just him and Chris Gatling sported the headband in the league. Cliff was a really good player for a very long time. Played 3 positions and could shoot from deep before a lot of big men could. RIP pic.twitter.com/V0w7coIRKA— Frosty Bias (@frostybias) August 29, 2020
RIP Clifford Robinson - some of my earliest memories of NBA basketball were of you as the lifeblood to those early/mid 90’s Blazers teams. The Memorial Coliseum days!! RIP to a Portland legend.— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 29, 2020
Rip Clifford Robinson... in a era where bigs didn’t really shoot the 3 he was one that did.... Big part of those 90’s blazers teams.. sixth man of the year/all star/multiple all defensive squads all on his resume... he was no slouch at all— F**K YOUR AGENDAS (@theseaintjokesb) August 29, 2020
Portland Trail Blazers great Clifford Robinson has passed away. DAMN pic.twitter.com/AZhQTpJKOm— Terrell Thomas (@Eldorado2452) August 29, 2020
I’m so glad it’s raining today. I’m gonna need it to hide my tears. Not my big bro man. Uncle Cliffy taught me all I needed to know to be a stretch 4 in the NBA. UConn family has lost another great one. RIP Uncle Cliffy 😢😢😢😢 pic.twitter.com/mPCrv2EA3X— Donyell Marshall (@Dmarsh42) August 29, 2020