Ex-UConn star, top NBA sixth man Cliff Robinson dies at 53

Cliff Robinson, a former UConn star and longtime top sixth man in the NBA, has died

Cliff Robinson guided UConn out from the bottom and almost helped take the Portland Trail Blazers to the top.

He was one of the NBA’s best sixth men, a versatile player who became a predecessor of the modern center.

Not bad for a guy who was warned he might not even get a second season in Storrs.

“He averaged five points as a freshman and I remember I told him, ’You have two choices: I can kick you out if you keep doing what you do, or I’m going to watch you play a lot of years in the NBA,'” former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “He chose the latter, which was good.”

Robinson died Saturday at 53, remembered as much for his personality as his skills by the teams he played for during an 18-year career.

“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,” the Blazers said.

“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.”

No cause of death was given, though Calhoun said Robinson had a stroke 2 1/2 years ago.

“It’s really sad to hear of this, because he was one of my kids, my players, a guy I watched grow into a man,” Calhoun said. “It’s not an easy thing.”

Robinson helped the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. He not only never missed the postseason in Portland but hardly missed any games at all, playing all 82 in each of his first five seasons and never appearing in fewer than 75.

“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,” tweeted Cleveland star Kevin Love, who grew up in Oregon.

Clifford Robinson was born on Dec. 16, 1966, in Buffalo, New York. He was the centerpiece of Calhoun’s early teams at UConn. He played in Storrs from 1985-89, helping guide the Huskies from the bottom of the Big East to the 1988 NIT championship.

Robinson averaged just 5.6 points as a freshman but scored 20 a game as a senior before becoming a second-round pick of the Blazers.

“He was our first great player,” Calhoun said. “He gave legitimacy to the program.

“As a player coming in, here’s this guy playing on TV for the Trail Blazers, watching him play, watching UConn being mentioned. You could not pay for the exposure that he gave us.”

Robinson was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1993 and made his lone All-Star appearance the following year. At 6-foot-11, he had the size of a center but was a skilled outside shooter.

He played 1,380 games in the league, ranking in the top 15 all-time. Besides the Blazers, Robinson also played for Phoenix, Detroit, Golden State and the Nets.

“Clifford was the consummate professional who loved the game and played with an incredible sense of both joy and intensity during his outstanding 18-year career, including two seasons with the Warriors,” Golden State said.


Associated Press writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

Published at Sat, 29 Aug 2020 17:41:55 +0000

Laura remnants, cold front could bring severe weather to East Coast Saturday

A new storm system will also develop in the southern Plains.

The remnants of Hurricane Laura are now pushing up against a storm system moving across the Great Lakes Saturday. Radar is indicating some areas of rain moving eastward across the Appalachians.

That storm system and its associated frontal boundaries brought gusty winds from Iowa to New Jersey Friday, when 60 mph wind gusts were reported in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The combination of Laura’s remnants and a cold front Saturday will bring showers and thunderstorms to much of the East Coast. There is a slight risk for severe weather from eastern North Carolina to New York. The threat is mainly severe storms that could form and possibly spawn brief tornadoes and gusty winds.

Unlike the traditional summer storm threats for parts of the Northeast, it will likely remain rather unsettled for most of the day. Any slow-moving storm could produce some flooding concerns.

Meanwhile, behind this frontal system, a new system will develop in the southern Plains. This will be the beginning of a rather unsettled period for parts of southern Plains and mid-south.

First, a storm capable of brief tornadoes and damaging winds in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southern Missouri is possible Saturday. Then through the next few days, a stationary front will develop, which means it’s possible for several waves of rain and thunderstorms to develop over this region.

Forecast model guidance is showing at least 4 to 7 inches of rain over the next five days from eastern Oklahoma to Arkansas to Southern Missouri. This will result in a flood threat that will persist for the next few days.

2 tropical waves in the Atlantic

There are two tropical waves being monitored in the Atlantic. The first is still pretty far east of the Caribbean Islands and has a 30% chance of development in the next five days.

The next one is a wave pushing off Africa, which has a 40% chance of development in the next five days.

It’s important to note that the next five weeks or the peak for hurricane activity. The good news is both of these waves have their set of hurdles for longer-term development. However, it is almost certain that we will see hurricane activity ramp up, possibly even more dramatically than the last week, in the coming month.

Published at Sat, 29 Aug 2020 15:50:17 +0000