Clifford Robinson Bio: Family, Career, Net Worth & Death

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Clifford Robinson is a now-dead professional basketball player who played for National Basketball Association for eighteen years. Ever since his 1989 NBA draft selection, he has played for the Portland Trail Blazers, the Phoenix Suns, the Detroit Pistons, the Golden State Warriors, and the New Jersey Nets.

He was a man with no fears. Primarily his setting age did not concern him, nor did his health, as long as he got to play whatever he wanted.

Now, it’s been a few months since his heavenly ascend; however, Clifford Robinson is most missed for his undeniable on and off-field personality.

As I take a moment to remember, he was the basketball forward featuring for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Additionally, during his 18 years long journey in the NBA, Robinson has been considered the ‘predecessor of the modern center.’

Furthermore, his career statistics show 19,591 points, 6,306 rebounds, and 3,094 assists today.

Clifford Robinson
Clifford Robinson (Source:

“Thirty-nine, 49, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter about age. I am going to play as long as I continue to love playing basketball. I’m just happy to get out there on the floor.”
-Clifford Robinson quotes

Quick Facts:

Full Name Clifford Ralph Robinson
Date of Birth December 16, 1966
Birth Place Buffalo, New York
Nick Name Uncle Cliffy
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity Black
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius
Death Date August 29, 2020
Height 6’10” (2.08 m)
Weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Build Athletic
Father’s Name Name Unknown
Mother’s Name Helena Horne
Siblings None
Education Riverside High School
University of Connecticut
Marital Status Married
Wife Heather Lufkins (m. 2003)
Kids A son, Isaiah Robinson
Profession Basketball player
Position Forward / Center
Affiliations Portland Trail Blazers (1989-1997)
Phoenix Suns (1997-2001)
Detroit Pistons (2001-2003)
Golden State Warriors (2003-2005)
New Jersey Nets (2005-2007)
Playing Career 1989–2007
Net Worth $20 million
Social Media Instagram
Merch Autograph, Basketball Card
Last Update April, 2024

Clifford Robinson | Early Life, Family and Education

Robinson (fully named Clifford Ralph Robinson) was born on December 16, 1966, under Sagittarius’ sun sign.

His birthplace is Buffalo, New York, born to his mother, Helena Horne. According to the sources, Robinson lost his father at an early age and had no siblings.

Moreover, his detailed information about his childhood and family background is all unknown.

High School

Clifford Robinson attended Riverside High School, where his mother encouraged him to play basketball.

It was reported that Robinson was a short boy as a child, and no one ever intended for him to grow tall.

However, he went through a growth spurt ever since high school, and thus, he commenced trying basketball. Robinson also partook in the Big East Conference.

Robinson's early days
Robinson’s early days (Source: Twitter)

Altogether, Robinson’s breakthrough came during his sophomore as he was improving, and more and more colleges took an interest in him.


During Robinson’s high school phase, the initial letter for recruitment came from the University of Connecticut.

Hence, Clifford Robinson thought of committing to that same college as the former UConn assistant coach Howie Dickenman showed quite an interest in him.

In addition to that, Clifford commenced his gameplay with UConn in 1985, where he played for four seasons.

During his tenure, his best day was when the Huskies won the 1988 National Invitation Tournament championship. Right then, Robinson was named to the all-tournament team.

Similarly, Robinson was also named to UConn’s All-Century men’s Basketball team. Following it, he was a part of the “Huskies of Honor” on February 5, 2007, where Clifford’s number “00” was retired at Gampel Pavilion.

University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut (Source:

“We didn’t have the talent that other teams had, so my junior year, when we came out, and we won the NIT, it’s the best memory for me.”
-Clifford Robinson quotes

Clifford Robinson | Professional Career

After college graduation, Clifford Robinson entered the 1989 NBA draft, and as per him, the transition from college to a professional was a challenging journey. However, the Portland Trail Blazers selected him as the 36th overall pick in the second round.

Portland Trail Blazers

During his tenure on the team, Robinson partook in every team playoff game. Likewise, he was also featured in the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, which won him the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

He had posted an average of 19.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and a career-best of 1.99 blocks per game. Furthermore, he also bagged the All-Star in 1994.

He was nicknamed “Uncle Cliffy” during the 1992 Western Conference Finals against the Utah Jazz. To illustrate, the nickname came through his victory dance after the game as he reported to the journalists the name of his dance.

Anyways, Uncle Cliffy stuck with him for the rest of his career as he had the iron man streak. However, his streak was broken during the match against the Golden State Warriors.

Overall, his streak stood the most in the franchise record, where he spent eight seasons.

Phoenix Suns 

As he bid his goodbyes to the Blazers, the Phoenix Suns signed him in as a free agent as he spent four years with the team.

Equally important, Robinson became the oldest NBA player (33 years old) to have a 50-point game, which was registered against the Denver Nuggets.

Detroit Pistons

On June 29, 2001, the Suns traded Clifford Robinson to the Detroit Pistons to exchange Jud Buechler and John Wallace.

Golden State Warriors 

After getting into the Golden State Warriors team in exchange for Bob Sura, Robinson recorded 82 games for the regular season team.

New Jersey Nets 

Clifford Robinson landed on the New Jersey Nets, for whom he spent two seasons with a long journey from team to team. Afterward, in July 2007, he was released, and then he retired from the NBA.

 “I’ve had a lot of fond memories, but I think the biggest one was probably my rookie season with the Portland Trailblazers; our team made it to the NBA finals that year.”
-Clifford Robinson quotes

Clifford Robinson | Beyond Basketball

To those unknown, Clifford Robinson is one of the advocates for legalizing cannabis (marijuana). Additionally, he supported reforming cannabis laws in the U.S. states of Oregon and Connecticut.

He is an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry whose brand name is Uncle Cliffy in the market.

Besides, Robinson was part of the 2013 film, Survivor (American reality television series), broadcasted in 2014. 

Moreover, Cliff mentioned during one of his interviews that, in the Survivor reality show, he had one of the most complex experiences. He noted that it was more demanding than the NBA.

To go into detail, Clifford was the contestant in the Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, where he was featured as part of the Brawn tribe. Overall, he stood in 14th place by the end of the series.


Clifford Robinson supports several charities, which include boys and girls of all America and the Make a wish foundation.

Cliff established the Cliff Robinson Foundation in 2007, a nonprofit that aids disadvantaged children in the Portland, Oregon, region. The charity funds after-school programs and awards scholarships to local children.

Team Cliff Robinson’s Fundraising Page

Clifford Robinson lost his long battle with Lymphoma and is dead now. His wide circle of family and friends has stretched from coast to coast to spread awareness for more survivors by raising funds for LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY in the remembrance of Clifford to help more people like him.

Clifford Robinson | Career Achievements

After his NBA career retirement, Clifford Robinson traveled to North Korea to play in a match against the Northern Korean Senior National Basketball Team.

Dennis Rodman organized the event to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong-un. Altogether, the trip’s motive served as “basketball diplomacy” between the two nations.

The team included Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges, Doug Christie,  Sleepy Floyd, Charles D. Smith, and four “streetballers.”

As for his career stats, Robinson maintained an average of 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.05 steals, and 1.03 blocks in each game.

Altogether, he had appeared in 1,380 games, where he had 42,561 minutes played in the NBA.

Consequently, this record stood second behind Kevin Willis, 14th among retired players, and first in the Basketball Hall of Fame 2016.

With his long-run career, he became one of those two players still active in the 2007 league after getting drafted in 1980.

NBA All-Star
NBA All-Star (Source:

He was also the tallest player (6 feet and 10 inches) to make more than 1,000 three-pointers.

He was also qualified for the 2015 Class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. All in all, Robinson had 1,300 steals and 1,300 blocked shots in their ABA/NBA career.

Some of his highlights and awards are written below.

  • NBA All-Star (1994)
  • 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2000 & 2002)
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year (1993)
  • Second-team All-Big East (1989)
  • Third-team All-Big East (1988)

Clifford Robinson | Net Worth and Salary

Altogether, Clifford Robinson has a net worth of $20 million as of 2024. According to the sources, Robinson had earned $62.5 million in salary as an NBA player.

Among those salaries, his highest salary to date was $8.42 million during Pistons’ 2002-2003 season.

Moreover, his business of cannabis has spread in the worldwide market, thus, making him “the face of Sports Cannabis.”

The Search Graph of Clifford Robinson

We can see the search graph of Robinson and how it so fluctuates. People do still search for this player even after his death. The ongoing support of charities and other things his Keith and kins do to give respect and love in his remembrance can be the triggering elements in the shape order of his search history.

Search Graph of Clifford Robinson
Search Graph of Clifford Robinson

Clifford Robinson | Controversy

On May 12, 2006, Clifford Robinson was suspended for five games during the NBA playoffs while playing with the Golden State Warriors.

Before it, he was also suspended in 2005 for violating the league’s drug policy terms. According to Robinson, cannabis is the one to thank for the longevity of his NBA career.

Subsequently, it helps him relieve pain and anxiety, not to mention the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Clifford Robinson | Career Stats

                                                Career Stats Summary
Career 629 17.2 8.3 2.0 46.8 18.4 72.2 46.9 17.0 30.5

Clifford Robinson | Private Life and Wife

Moving on to his love life, Clifford Robinson married Heather Lufkins on September 21, 2003.

As per the sources, the duo took vows on the island of Barbados in a private ceremony. Furthermore, the couple shares a twin son.

Robinson's wife, Heather Lufkins
Robinson’s wife, Heather Lufkins (Source:

Besides them, Clifford Robinson was married to Alfred Devuono before marrying Heather. In addition, he has a son and a daughter from his former marriage.

His son Isiah Robinson is the basketball player for the Jefferson High School Democrats in Portland and the Houston Baptist Huskies.

Short Glance on Heather Lufkins’s

Heather Lufkin is an American businesswoman and reality television personality.

Aside from being the wife of an NBA player, the beloved Heather is also the one who competed in the reality TV series called Survivor.

Besides, she has also made many appearances on hit shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey, VH1’s For Love, VH1’s Mob Wives, and Hip Hop.

Additionally, before marrying Clifford Robinson, she was married to Michele M. Malik, which bought a while share of news flooding.

Thus, during the divorce settlement, she wasn’t given any of his assets.

Overall, she testified her interest in the assets of Mr. Malik, which made a considerable claim reciting her previous false testimony.

To elaborate, the property she was interested in was in the name of JR Property Holdings. ALtogether, this whole case is widely known as the Malik Scam.

Did Clifford Robinson die of Covid? Health Issues & Death

Clifford Robinson was never too healthy, as he had Lymphoma. In March 2017, Robinson struggled with a stroke, which left his left side of the body paralyzed.

However, it was all fortunate as he could make his arms and legs move again.

Moreover, he underwent many medical issues, including a brain hemorrhage in 2018. Furthermore, he also removed his tumor from the jaw the same year.

The following year, in 2019, Robinson further went to have surgery for Cancer treatment. After years of unknown battle, he passed away due to Lymphoma on August 29, 2020, at 53.

Lymphoma is a cluster of tumors originating from lymph nodes and lymphoid cells, if you don’t know. Despite this fact, that Uncle Cliffy was always positive with vibrant energy.

Some FAQs:

Is Clifford Robinson in the Hall of Fame?

Clifford Robinson was an inductee into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Apart from it, he has been the NBA All-Star, NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, and on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second-Team.

What type of Lymphoma did Clifford Robinson have?

As we all know, Clifford was fighting for his life from a fatal disease, and it was large B cell lymphoma.

What positions had Clifford Robinson played?

During his NBA career, Clifford Robinson played as the small forward, power forward, and center.

How much is a Cliff Robinson rookie card worth?

The price range of Robinson’s rookie card price ranges from $2.07$256.99. It can go as low as 2 dollars and as high as 200.

What is Cliff Robinson’s defense rating?

All the statistics say the professional player Clifford Robinson had a defense rating of 103.4 in his career.

What was Clifford Robinson’s jersey number?

Sources say Clifford Robinson was featured in the gameplay wearing the jersey numbers 3 and 30.

Rajani Gurung
Rajani Gurung
Hey, I'm Rajani! As a digital content writer, I write for several websites on a wide range of topics. At Playersbio, I cover to write about hot trending celebrities and news. My professional experience makes me write the hard topics in a simplified manner for easiness.

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