Robinson was a single of the to start with skilled athletes to get associated in the hashish market.
Cliff Robinson was normally ahead of his time.
The 6’10” power forward laid the foundation for the “stretch forward” place, actively playing absent from the basket and splashing in three-pointers very long in advance of that grew to become regular apply for contemporary NBA huge males.
In 1988, playing under the lights of Madison Sq. Yard, he led the University of Connecticut to the school’s to start with nationwide basketball title, marking the beginning of a new period of basketball at Connecticut and environment the school up to grow to be a basketball powerhouse.
The rangy and tough huge male, who even now retains the Portland Path Blazers history for most consecutive online games played (461), was also a longtime cannabis advocate. In 2017, he opened a cannabis dispensary in Portland and launched a line of products beneath the Uncle Spliffy banner, a engage in on his nickname, Uncle Cliffy.
Robinson died this previous weekend from Lymphoma. His family verified the information in a put up on Robinson’s web page. He was 53 years aged.
The former NBA All-Star and Sixth Person of the Yr played nearly two many years in the league and often credited hashish for aiding in his restoration among games.
“If you play 18 a long time in the NBA and execute above an 82-sport schedule, you are going to deal with panic issues and your capability to loosen up,” Robinson explained to the Las Vegas Sunlight in 2018. “Cannabis has always assisted me with that.”
And although injuries almost never stored Robinson off the courtroom, he was suspended 3 times during his occupation for testing optimistic for hashish, missing a overall of 11 video games. Just after 1 of individuals suspensions, Peter Vecsey of the New York Article bestowed Robinson with the nickname “Uncle Spliffy.”
“He was providing me a hard time for currently being suspended from the Blazers for a sport,” Robinson advised Civilized. “He determined to simply call me that. So really it is about using one thing that has been a unfavorable and turning it into a constructive.”
Significantly of Robinson’s perform in the cannabis sector was about eroding stigma and countering the belief that weed and athletics really don’t combine.
“I’m going for the human being that goes on a nice run, that goes on a great hike, that goes and plays basketball, and needs to actually enrich that action by partaking in a hashish item in advance of. Or you want to smoke a joint soon after the exercise. It’s heading to be geared toward the lively-life style men and women,” Robinson advised Willamette 7 days in 2016.
“I imagine the strategy that athletics and hashish is a undesirable mix is overblown. It’s kind of reefer insanity.”
Robinson was just one of the initially experienced athletes to get associated in the hashish business, rejecting long-held prejudices and creating a viable route forward for other athletes, like Al Harrington, to adhere to.
“You require any person to go initial,” Andrew Gurevich, the host of the Potcast PDX podcast, explained to Vice Sports in 2016, in an article about the launch of Uncle Spliffy. “I imagine him remaining initial is heading to open the floodgates for folks to appear out up coming and at minimum have the dialogue.”
It is not uncommon for athletes to struggle in retirement, as the fame and fortune and vivid lights of qualified sports fade absent and they research for approaches to shell out their remaining days. Robinson, who starred on a period of Survivor and joined Dennis Rodman on a “basketball diplomacy” excursion to North Korea in 2014, was not fearful to attempt a little something various. As a hashish pioneer, he opened a doorway that experienced previously been slammed shut.
“This was a all-natural suit for me,” he told Willamette 7 days. “Why not consider one thing which is been perceived as a adverse in my everyday living and by means of my occupation and turn it into a positive?”
On Saturday, as the Portland Path Blazers took to the courtroom for their to start with-round playoff matchup in opposition to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Path Blazers wore black headbands, a signature fashion of Robinson, and a way to honour the person whose playstyle — and entrepreneurial vision — was several years forward of its time.
“He was our 1st fantastic player,” Jim Calhoun, the legendary College of Connecticut coach explained to the New Haven Register. “He established the desk for a large amount of excellent factors that transpired.”
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