Former NBA All-Star and 18-year veteran Clifford Robinson has died, his father-in-law, John Lufkins, confirmed to NBC News Saturday.
Lufkins said he hopes people remember Robinson « as a fun-loving and caring person who loved family get-togethers. »
« He enjoyed cooking for everyone, especially ribs, » he said in a statement. « Life was an amazing adventure to him and he enjoyed every minute of it. He will be sadly missed by those that knew him. »
Robinson, known as « Uncle Cliffy, » was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989 and played with the team for eight years, helping the franchise reach the NBA finals in 1990 and 1992.
« 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 Trail Blazers said in a statement. « 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. »
Robinson also played with the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and the New Jersey Nets, which became the Brooklyn Nets in 2012.
In 1993, Robinson was honored as the NBA’s « Sixth Man of the Year » and was the NBA All-Star a year later. He made the league’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2000 and 2002.
The Golden State Warriors recalled in a statement that Robinson played with both joy and intensity.
« Clifford was a consummate professional who loved the game and played with an incredible sense of both joy and intensity. We extend our thoughts and prayers to family and friends of ‘Uncle Cliffy’ during this time, » the team tweeted.
Robinson was born in Buffalo, New York, and prior to joining the NBA, played basketball at the University of Connecticut where he helped lead the school to win the National Invitational Tournament Championship in 1988. He was named to UConn’s All-Century Team in 1999.
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. pic.twitter.com/Bp6Z5hbVUb
« 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, » the tweet read. « Rest In Peace, Cliff. »
After stepping away from sports, Robinson competed on the reality television show « Survivor » in 2014 where he came in 14th place.
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