, 1990 to present.
Weight: 225 pounds
Clifford Robinson was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 36th pick of the 1989 NBA Draft. Robinson had played collegiately at Connecticut, averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds as a senior.
Robinson struggled in his first season, shooting under 40 percent, but soon became a valuable reserve for Portland. His game has always been unusual--he does not rebound well at all for a man nearly seven feet tall, and on offense is mainly a jump shooter playing far away from the basket. But Robinson is a defensive demon, able to guard small forwards and centers equally well. Early in his career he was an excellent shot blocker, once blocking 163 shots in a season.
In 1993, Robinson won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award, averaging 19 points per game off of the bench. Robinson moved into a starting role the next season, averaging 20 points and making his only All-Star appearance. However, the Trail Blazers as a team enjoyed less success. The 1990 and 1992 teams had made it to the NBA Finals, losing to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, respectively. From 1993 to 1997, the Blazers did not make it out of the first round. Robinson was criticized for his failure to perform in the postseason, and the rest of the team (Clyde Drexler, Buck Williams, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey) was beginning to show its age.
In Robinson's best season, 1995, he averaged 21.3 points per game, along with 5.6 rebounds. It was around this time that Robinson became addicted to shooting three pointers, and his shooting percentages began to drop dramatically. Robinson was a free agent after the 1997 season, and the Blazers showed no interest in re-signing him, preferring to build around Rasheed Wallace and Isaiah Rider. Robinson instead signed with the Phoenix Suns. With the Suns, Robinson continued to be a productive player, on the offensive and defensive ends. But he was again plagued by playoff disappearances, and the Suns became disenchanted with his play and his off-court antics (mostly DUI arrests). After the 2001 season, in which he averaged a respectable 16 points on a not-so-respectable 42% shooting, Robinson was shipped to the Detroit Pistons for two spare parts, Jud Buechler and John Wallace.
Robinson is currently the starting center in Detroit, where he has been a major contributor to the rejuvenated Pistons.
Robinson is also well-known for his color-coordinated headbands. While with the Blazers, he wore either red or white, and while with the Suns he wore purple.