The NBA community is mourning the death of Portland Trailblazers great Clifford Robinson who died aged 53.
Robinson was a loved figure in the sport with his career spanning 18 years at the top level.
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Robinson, born in Buffalo, New York, in 1966, was instrumental to setting up UConn as a national contender in college basketball.
In 1999, Robinson was named to UConn’s All-Century Team. His number, 00, was retired by UConn in 2007.
After Robinson graduated in 1989, he was picked in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers, kicking off an 18-year NBA career.
He would play for the Blazers for eight years, making the playoffs each time and helping take the Blazers to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, though they lost both times. He was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1993 and an All-Star in 1994.
He played 461 straight games for the Blazers to start his career, which still stands as a franchise record.
NBA legends mourn death of Robinson
The NBA world, including Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, expressed their sorry at the news.
The wider community also took to social media to express their condolences for a legend of the game and for what he had done outside of the NBA.
I'm heartbroken to look back at this moment. Cliff Robinson was so important to his #Blazers teams and I always enjoyed competing against him. Another brother who left us long before his time. You'll be missed, Uncle Cliffy. RIP @UncleCliffy30 @trailblazers pic.twitter.com/bA2HWpM8iv— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) August 29, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cliff Robinson. Literally, the toughest person I faced in my career- great competitor. I can still hear him calling me Radio Rahim-RIP my brotha. https://t.co/sFc2c663Xq— Shareef Abdur-Rahim (@ShareefAbdur_R) August 29, 2020
RIP to the OG Cliff Robinson. 🙏🏿— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) August 29, 2020
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. Uncle Cliffy will be greatly missed by the Trail Blazers & all of Rip City.https://t.co/X4ixK1XCPT pic.twitter.com/0njgpimiBH— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) August 29, 2020
It’s not what Cliff Robinson did for UConn. It’s what he did for Connecticut.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 29, 2020
I was 14 when he led UConn to the NIT title. As he grew the profile of the program, he grew the pride people had in their state. He showed how college sports can be a force for tremendous good. https://t.co/7WnJPLdIUa
The Rockets and Thunder share a moment of silence to honor Chadwick Boseman, Lute Olson and Cliff Robinson. pic.twitter.com/AJbxneLJc2— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 29, 2020
To have Cliff Robinson, an NBA All-Star, play Survivor was a personal highlight for me. And he was one of the classiest people to ever play the game. He treated the other cast members and the entire crew with grace and respect. My condolences go out to his family.￼ pic.twitter.com/kpPr97XVVP— Jeff Probst (@JeffProbst) August 29, 2020
After leaving the Blazers, Robinson signed with the Phoenix Suns, where he’d stay for four seasons.
He spent time with the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets before retiring in 2007.
The cause of death has not yet been made public.
With Liz Roscher - Yahoo Sport US