RIP Uncle Cliffy, NBA Star and Hashish Pioneer

selective focus photography of red flower and green leaf

Cliff Robinson was a man ahead of his time during his 19-year NBA career.

Cliff Robinson was a person forward of his time throughout his 19-year NBA profession.
Picture: Getty

Cliff Robinson, an NBA participant who by many accounts was a time machine into the long run in a variety of facets of his life, together with being a fierce proponent of marjiuana legalization, died Saturday at 53.

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Robinson performed 19 seasons within the NBA, primarily with the Portland Path Blazers and Phoenix Suns, profitable the 1993 Sixth Man of the Yr Award. An All Star in 1994, Robinson led the Blazers, alongside Clyde Drexler, to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, the latter in opposition to Michael Jordan and the Bulls, an epic matchup as documented just lately on ESPN’s “The Final Dance.”

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Robinson was a person earlier than his time within the marijiuana legalization area. After being suspended 3 times for cannabis use throughout his NBA profession, he created his personal line of merchandise referred to as Uncle Cliffy Sports activities cannabis merchandise. The identify Uncle Cliffy got here from his nickname within the league, and was a nod to how NBA reporter Peter Vecesy turned that round into referred to Robinson “Uncle Spliffy” when Robinson was going through participant marijuana-related suspensions.

A couple of years in the past, he turned a companion with Pistil Level Hashish, a lounge warehouse — and the primary unique indoor cannabis rising facility in Portland. Pistil Level’s immense progress may be pointed instantly again to Robinson as he served as the corporate’s model ambassador and offered a few of his private line of merchandise at their store.

Robinson was very explicit in how he needed his cannabis model depicted. He acknowledged in 2017 the imaginative and prescient behind the model was to function “muscle restoration and ache aid advantages of the plant,” for athletes. He additionally spoke about how he used cannabis to alleviate nervousness and preserve focus. He didn’t need his merchandise to only be one other smokeable leisure model, however as a substitute needed topical merchandise like ointments out there to deal with particular athletic woes.

“[I want] to knock down the parable that athletes and cannabis don’t combine,” Robinson advised The Oregonian in 2017. “I performed 18 years within the NBA and I used cannabis on and off alongside the best way and I didn’t have an issue.”

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In the identical article, Robinson’s Pistil Level co-founder Sid Gupta talked about what it meant to have somebody like Cliff talking out in help of the legalization motion:

“When you’ve model ambassadors like Cliff Robinson, you might be chatting with a a lot wider viewers. “You actually need voices to succeed in a wider viewers about what this medicine represents and the way it’s to be managed. Having individuals like Cliff on board may help make a distinction.”

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Together with his lanky construct stretching over a 6-foot-10 body, Robinson fearlessly took on any defensive task whereas flexing his means to knock down threes, ultimately being named to 2 NBA All-Defensive second groups, whereas averaging 15 factors and 5 rebounds over his 1380 profession video games — 13th all time. He held the file for tallest participant in NBA historical past with greater than 1,00zero three-pointers made till Dirk Nowitzki broke it.

There isn’t any denying Robinson’s fashion of play would match completely in at present’s video games with conventional large males drifting out to make perimeter photographs.

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Drafted with the 36th choose in 1989, he wrapped up his profession with the New Jersey Nets after brief stints with the Pistons and Warriors, and retired in 2007.

Robinson’s reason for loss of life is unknown, however he suffered a stroke in 2017 and had a tumor faraway from his jaw in 2018.

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UConn, the place Robinson went from a 9-19 file in 1987 to a 20-14 file and an NIT title underneath third-year coach Jim Calhoun in 1988, issued an announcement Saturday morning:

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The Huskies retired his jersey No. 00 in 2007.

Robinson was additionally part of CBS’ “Survivor: Cagayan,” the primary NBA participant to seem on the truth TV program.

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