Clifford Robinson, former NBA all-star, dies at 53

The family of Cliff Robinson, whose 18-year NBA career included stints with five teams, confirmed his passing

Clifford Robinson #30 of the New Jersey Nets looks on against the Miami Heat during the game at American Airlines Arena on December 23, 2005 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by: Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

Clifford Robinson, a former college basketball and NBA star, has passed away at the age 53. His death comes after a year long bout with lymphoma. Robinson’s family issued an official statement to The Athletic:

Robinson was an 18-year veteran of the NBA. The 6-foot-10-inch forward began his NBA career in 1989 after being drafted in the second round by the Portland Trailblazers, according to The Sun.

He spent his first eight seasons with Portland, winning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1993 and becoming an all-star in 1994, helping the team reach two NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.

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After leaving the Trailblazers, Robinson would go on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets. While with Detroit and Phoenix, he made it to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

Prior to his tenure in the NBA, Robinson started at the University of Connecticut, helping to lead the team to an NIT Championship title in his junior year in 1988, according to The Hartford Courant.

He was named a member of UConn’s all-century basketball team in 1999 and his number “00” was retired by the school in 2007.

His alma mater posted their condolences to Twitter.

“The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson,” the post read. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time. “

Numerous of Robinson’s teammates and opponents wrote tributes to the standout athlete on social media.

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Rex Chapman, whose playing career overlapped with Robinson’s in Phoenix, said he was “devastated” about the passing and called Robinson “one of the best teammates ever.”

Mario Eli, twice Robinson’s teammate with the Trailblazers and later the Suns, said he “lost another brother today” in Robinson and called him “one of the best team mates and just a good dude.”

Robinson is survived by his six children, his mother, three brothers and his sister.

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