Ex-NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson recovering from 'minor brain hemorrhage'

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Clifford Robinson of the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/por/" data-ylk="slk:Portland Trail Blazers">Portland Trail Blazers</a> shoots against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/sac/" data-ylk="slk:Sacramento Kings">Sacramento Kings</a> circa 1991 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)
Clifford Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against the Sacramento Kings circa 1991 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

Five days after being hospitalized in Portland, longtime former NBA forward Clifford Robinson revealed that the “recent medical emergency” that landed him at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center was “a minor brain hemorrhage.”

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Robinson, 50, updated fans on his health in a statement released Tuesday by the Portland Trail Blazers, the franchise with which he spent the first eight years of his NBA career.

“I want Trail Blazers fans and friends to know I’m doing well and in the process of getting better,” Robinson said in the statement. “My family and I appreciate the prayers and well-wishes for my recovery. I had an unfortunate incident with a minor brain hemorrhage which means I’ll be in rehabilitation for a while. But I’m excited about trying to get past this speed bump. I’m improving every day.”

Details about Robinson’s condition were scarce after his family confirmed his hospitalization, but his former college coach, UConn legend Jim Calhoun, told TMZ last Friday that he was confident his former player was on the road to recovery:

“He’s resting and recovering,” Calhoun said … “But he had something sitting on the couch, something happened to him medically. They’re working on that now. Yesterday he was on the improvement side, which is great news.”

Calhoun wouldn’t reveal specifics about what caused Robinson’s condition but says, “Very simply, he had a situation that came out of nowhere. For a young man, very unusual.”

We asked if the prognosis was good … he replied, “Yes, it is. But like I said, what he had was very unusual for a young guy.”

Robinson remains in the hospital as he works to rehabilitate following the hemorrhage, but given the uncertainty surrounding his condition when his hospitalization was reported last week, the update certainly constitutes a positive step.


The Blazers selected Robinson out of UConn with the 36th overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft. He’d go on to play more games and minutes and score more points than any other player in that draft class — a roster that included All-Stars Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway, Vlade Divac, Shawn Kemp, Mookie Blaylock, Sean Elliott and Dana Barros — during a career that included two All-Defensive Second Team nods, the 1992-93 Sixth Man of the Year trophy, and a spot on the 1993-94 Western Conference All-Star team.

Robinson was a versatile, valuable sixth man who helped the Blazers make the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. He would go on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets before retiring following the 2006-07 season. He averaged 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, one steal and one block in 30.8 minutes per game over the course of his 18-year career.

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In recent years, Robinson appeared as a contestant on the CBS reality show “Survivor,” and has turned his attention to combining entrepreneurship with advocacy for the benefits of medical marijuana as a method for treating athletes. In January of 2016, he launched a weed-growing operation in Oregon under the name Uncle Spliffy — a take-off on “Uncle Cliffy,” his nickname during his playing days — to produce cannabis in medicinal items.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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