The NBA world is mourning the loss of Clifford Robinson, an All-Star forward and Portland Trail Blazers great.
Numerous NBA reporters and the University of Connecticut, Robinson’s alma mater, confirmed his death. A cause of death was not immediately specified.
Robinson is the latest tragic death in a year that has also seen the basketball world lose former commissioner David Stern and Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Here’s more on Robinson, who went from a second-round pick to one of the greatest players in Portland Trail Blazers history.
Clifford Robinson played 18 NBA seasons
A UConn Huskies legend who had his No. 00 retired in 2007, Clifford Robinson joined the Portland Trail Blazers as a second-round pick in 1989.
Robinson had a far better career than his 14.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game averages would hint at. The big man is one of only three players in NBA history with more than 1,000 three-pointers, blocks, and steals.
Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki and Pistons big man Rasheed Wallace are the only other two players.
Nicknamed “Uncle Cliffy,” Robinson averaged 16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 644 games (322 starts) with the Trail Blazers. He won the Sixth Man of the Year in 1992-93 and made his lone All-Star Game a year later.
Robinson joined the Phoenix Suns in 1997-98 and played four seasons in Arizona. Robinson spent two seasons with the Detroit Pistons from 2001-03.
After a season and a half with the Golden State Warriors, Robinson joined the New Jersey Nets midway through the 2004-05 season. He played alongside Jason Kidd on the Nets through 2007.
Robinson had health issues in recent years
Clifford Robinson didn’t have an easy time in retirement.
Robinson suffered a stroke in March 2017 that paralyzed the left side of his body. According to the Portland Tribune, Robinson recovered most of his functions after he spent a month in the hospital.
Robinson also had a tumor removed from his jaw in early 2018.
At the time, Robinson clarified he didn’t have cancer.
Clifford Robinson passed away at age 53
Less than four months shy of his 54th birthday, Clifford Robinson passed away.
A cause of death was not immediately announced.
The official Twitter page for the UConn Huskies, Robinson’s alma mater, remembered their former star in a tweet.
“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. Rest In Peace, Cliff.”
“The basketball community has lost a Legend,” the NBA Alumni’s Twitter page wrote.
Mario Ellie, who played with Robinson in Portland, called him a “good dude.”
“Lost another brother today Clifford Robinson @trailblazers One of the best team mates,” Ellie wrote.
Matt Steinmetz, a radio host in California, called Robinson, “one of the coolest guys I ever got to cover.”