Trail Blazers, UConn Great Cliff Robinson Dies At 53

Trail Blazers, UConn Great Cliff Robinson Dies At 53

Cliff Robinson, 18-year NBA veteran and legendary UConn player, has died at age 53.

The cause of death has not yet been made public.

Robinson, born in Buffalo, New York in 1966, was instrumental to setting up UConn as national contender in college basketball. Coach Jim Calhoun was hired in Robinson’s sophomore year, and the change in coaching paid off in a big way. Robinson learned how to fit into Calhoun’s plans and together they helped UConn gain national notice for the first time ever when they won the NIT championship in 1988.

Cliff Robinson in 2011

Cliff Robinson in 2011

That set the stage for UConn’s future prominence, and Calhoun said on Saturday that Robinson was UConn’s first great player.

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.

Cliff Robinson takes a foul shot during in game against the Washington Bullets in 1995.

Cliff Robinson takes a foul shot during in game against the Washington Bullets in 1995.

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. He violated the NBA’s drug policy a few times during his career, the first time in 2001 when he was arrested for marijuana possession and driving under the influence. He was suspended one game. He was suspended five games in 2005 and again in 2006 for marijuana use.

After retirement, Robinson turned his love of marijuana into a business. He became a supporter of legalization and established the “Uncle Cliffy” brand of cannabis products. He was also a contestant on the reality show “Survivor” in 2013.

Robinson suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2017, which caused him to have a stroke. He also had a tumor removed from his jaw in 2018, which Robinson announced on his Twitter account.

The basketball world mourns Robinson’s death

When the news of Robinson’s death broke on Saturday morning, the response on social media was immediate. Fans, friends, and players shared their memories and celebrated his accomplishments amid an outpouring of sympathy for the much-loved Uncle Cliffy.

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Published at Sat, 29 Aug 2020 16:04:44 +0000

Colin Kaepernick Writes LeBron James, Thanks Him After NBA Walkouts Over Jacob Blake Shooting

LeBron James has been extremely vocal this past week following the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, and amid the NBA’s walkouts in response.

Colin Kaepernick is right behind him.

Colin Kaepernick writes LeBron James, thanks him for protesting

Kaepernick — who first started protesting during the national anthem exactly four years before Wednesday’s walkouts — wrote a letter to James this week thanking him. 

“Four years ago on August 14, 2016, I began protesting against systemic racism and social injustice,” Kaepernick wrote to James. “Truth is what I sought. Solidarity is what you showed me. Love is what moves us forward. 

“Thank you for staying true.”

James shared the letter on his Instagram story on Friday afternoon.

“Standing/kneeling right next to you brother! Appreciate you,” James wrote on the story.

The Milwaukee Bucks were the first team to stage a walkout on Wednesday afternoon after Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police on Sunday as he tried to get into his car. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. 

Every other team in the league quickly followed the Bucks’ lead — as did several other major sports leagues — and the players held a contentious, emotional meeting later that night. James, along with the Lakers and Clippers, was reportedly ready to walk away from the season entirely at that point, too.

Yet after a call with former President Barack Obama and another series of meetings on Thursday, the league is set to resume play on Saturday. 

While there wasn’t ever any doubt that Kaepernick would be behind them — they are fighting for the same cause, after all — the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now officially the latest prominent figure in the sports world to offer his support to players in the league.

Colin Kaepernick in 2019.

Colin Kaepernick in 2019.

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Published at Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:29:58 +0000