Cliff Robinson guided UConn out from the bottom and almost helped take the Portland Trail Blazers to the top.
He was one of the NBA’s best sixth men, a versatile player who became a predecessor of the modern center.
Not bad for a guy who was warned he might not even get a second season in Storrs.
“He averaged five points as a freshman and I remember I told him, ’You have two choices: I can kick you out if you keep doing what you do, or I’m going to watch you play a lot of years in the NBA,’” former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “He chose the latter, which was good.”
Robinson died Saturday at 53, remembered as much for his personality as his skills by the teams he played for during an 18-year career.