Phoenix Suns: Another gone too soon; rest in peace, Cliff Robinson

Phoenix Suns Cliff Robinson (Image courtesy of Harry How: Allsport)
Phoenix Suns Cliff Robinson (Image courtesy of Harry How: Allsport) /

Former Phoenix Suns player, Clifford Robinson, succumbed to lymphoma over the weekend, passing away at 53.

Not that this point needs to be reiterated, but 2020 has been the worst. On top of a deadly pandemic stealing the lives of over 180,000 Americans and counting, many other great figures have been taken from us all too unexpectedly. Headlined by Kobe Bryant, and most recently Chadwick Boseman and Arizona basketball legend Lute Olson, we can now, unfortunately, add former Phoenix Suns stud, Clifford Robinson to this list.

“Uncle Cliff” Robinson played for the Suns for four out of his 18 seasons in the NBA, between 1997-2001, and is considered one of. the best free-agent signings in Suns’ history. During his stretch in Phoenix, he averaged over 16 points and four rebounds per game, but more importantly, played a pivotal role in four Suns playoff teams, going as far as the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 1999-2000. In that same season, Robinson led the Suns in win shares with 9.6.

Cliff Robinson played great as a member of the Phoenix Suns.

In fact, he played in the playoffs all but one season out of his 18 in the league. Robinson played up until he was 40 years old and during this incredible career, made one All-Star game and earned the 6th Man of the Year Award as well. That isn’t too bad for a second-round draft pick.

Robinson has been battling a series of health issues in recent years and passed away Saturday at the age of 53 from lymphoma.

We recently featured a post highlighting a good story told by Shawn Marion on Cliff Robinson when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Essentially, Marion was the only rookie on a very veteran Suns team, and one of those wily vets was Cliff Robinson. When Uncle Cliff did the classic rookie hazing move of demanding doughnuts, Marion stood up for himself, telling Robinson he was “a grown-ass man” and expected to be treated that way.

Marion still got him the doughnuts, but that was the last time Cliff Robison hazed Shawn Marion had any beef that year, as the two gained respect for each other.

Rest in peace, Uncle Cliff.

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