The phrase “minor brain hemorrhage” sounds a little like an oxymoron, but we can be glad that Cliff Robinson’s medical mishap apparently wasn’t more serious. The former NBA all-star revealed the reason for his recent hospitalization, and while he’ll need some time to recover, he said that process was underway.
News emerged last week that the 50-year-old former Trail Blazers star, who also played for the Suns, Pistons, Warriors and Nets in an 18-year career, had been hospitalized in Portland. Details were scarce at the time, but Robinson addressed his condition in a statement he released Tuesday.
“I want Trail Blazers fans and friends to know I’m doing well and in the process of getting better. 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.”
Taken by the Blazers with the 36th pick in the 1989 draft, Robinson spent eight seasons in Portland, becoming a fan favorite nicknamed “Uncle Cliffy” and winning a 1993 sixth man of the year award. Following his retirement from the NBA in 2007, he returned to Portland to embark on a new career as a marijuana entrepreneur.
Taking advantage of Oregon’s legalization of pot, Robinson announced last year his intention to open a business called “Uncle Spliffy,” a playful version on his nickname that some bandied about during his NBA days. Robinson received multiple suspensions from the league for marijuana possession and use, and he has become an advocate for its benefits for athletes, particularly as opposed to pharmaceutical painkillers.
“He’s resting and recovering,” Jim Calhoun, Robinson’s coach at the University of Connecticut, told TMZ Sports last week. “. . . Very simply, he had a situation that came out of nowhere. For a young man, very unusual.”
In 2013, Robinson was a contestant on the CBS reality show “Survivor.” He called that experience “tougher than the NBA without a doubt.”