With so many emotions heading into Game 5 between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers in their first round playoff series, both teams honored three late greats who were all extremely close to the NBA family.
A moment of silence was held prior to tip-off to honor Portland Trail Blazers legend and UConn men’s basketball great Cliff Robinson, legendary University of Arizona head coach Lute Olson and actor and activist Chadwick Boseman.
The former Trail Blazers big man Cliff Robinson, better known to Rip City as Uncle Cliffy, died Saturday.
He was 53 years old.
The 6-foot-10 big man was a second-round pick (36th overall) by the Trail Blazers in 1989 and spent the first eight years of his career in Portland. Uncle Cliffy helped the franchise reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 and was the 1993 NBA 6th Man of the Year. In 1994, while with the Trail Blazers, he made his first and only All-Star Game.
Olson coached at the University of Arizona for 25 years and amassed 781 wins in his coaching career. He was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Boseman, known for playing Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and T'Challa in Black Panther, passed away at 43 years old Friday surrounded by his wife and family in his home after privately fighting colon cancer.
The tweet announcing Boseman's death on his personal account has become the most liked tweet ever.
LeBron James was seen crossing his arms pregame, which is universally known as "Wakanda Forever," a signature from Black Panther.
All three men have passed away within the last 48 hours.
The league held the special moment of silence for the trio starting with Saturday’s Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.
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