PORTLAND, Ore. (UPI) — NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson is dead, the Portland Trail Blazers and the University of Connecticut announced Saturday. He was 53.
No cause of death was announced, but ESPN reported that Robinson had a stroke two and a half years ago and went into a coma last week.
Robinson started his career in Portland
Known to fans as Uncle Cliffy, Robinson played for a total of five teams over an 18-year period but is best remembered for his years with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he started his career in 1989.
“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,” said a statement from the Trail Blazers posted to NBA.com Saturday. “His streak of 461 consecutive games played with the Trail Blazers still stands as a franchise record, which is a testament to his hard work and dedication to 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.”
Portland honors Robinson in passing
Similar sentiments expressed by UConn
Robinson’s alma mater also posted a note of remembrance to Twitter Saturday.
Other aspects of Robinson’s NBA career
After leaving the Trail Blazers, Robinson signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns, playing four seasons in Phoenix before moving on to play for the Detroit Pistons and the Golden State Warriors for two seasons each.
He wrapped up his career with the Brooklyn Nets in 2007 at the age of 40.
Robinson was suspended from the NBA three times for marijuana use.
Post-league activities after retirement
After retiring, he became an advocate for cannabis legalization. In 2016 he began marketing a line of cannabis products called Uncle Spliffy.
Saturday’s playoff game between Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic began with a moment of silence for Robinson, as well as Arizona coach Lute Olson and actor Chadwick Boseman.
Reporting by Christen McCurdy
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