Cliff Robinson, NBA All-Star and ‘Survivor’ Contestant, Dies at 53

On Saturday, messages of support and grieving poured in from Robinson’s former teams, both at the professional and college level

Last Updated: August 29, 2020 @ 10:40 AM

Cliff Robinson, an NBA All-Star and former contestant on “Survivor,” has died. He was 53 years old.

A cause of death was not immediately released. However, he suffered a stroke in 2017 and underwent surgery for cancer last spring.

The basketball star led the Portland Trail Blazers to two NBA finals during his time with the team from 1989 to 1997. He was an All-Star in 1994 and Sixth Man of the Year in 1993.

The Trail Blazers confirmed his death Saturday, posting a statement on the team website: “The Trail Blazers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Trail Blazers great Cliff Robinson. Robinson started his career in Portland in 1989 and stayed for eight seasons before continuing his 18-year career in the NBA.”

The statement went on, “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. 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.”

His alma mater, the University of Connecticut, also posted a tribute on Twitter.

“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,” said the post.

Robinson appeared on the Season 28 of “Survivor,” themed “Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty.” He was the fifth contestant to be voted off the island.