Scottie Pippen and Clifford Robinson had their fair share of battles — most famously, when Pippen's Bulls won the second of their six titles over Robinson's Portland Trail Blazers in 1992.
Pippen tributed his old foe and friend via Twitter, writing: "I'm heartbroken to look back at this moment. Cliff Robinson was so important to his Blazers teams and I always enjoyed competing against him. Another brother who left us long before his time. You'll be missed, Uncle Cliffy. RIP."
Robinson's 18-year NBA career began as a second-round pick in 1989, ended at age 40 in 2007 and spanned five stops: Portland, Phoenix, Detroit, Golden State and the New Jersey Nets. He was an All-Star in 1993-94, a Sixth Man of the Year in 1992-93 and earned two All-Defense selections (2000, 2002). A forward whose versatility and shooting stroke — he was the first player 6-foot-10 or taller to make 1,000 3-pointers — was ahead of his time.
He also leaves legacies as an advocate for marijuana use in professional athletics to treat physical and mental health, and one of the founding fathers of a now-storied UConn basketball program.
May he rest in peace.