Aug 08

Vintage Features: Uncle Cliffy Arrives

By caseyholdahl

Having the opportunity to meet my all-time favorite Trail Blazers is one of the great things about working for the team. And in a week and a half, I'll hopefully check Arvydas Sabonis off the list of icons who I've meet since starting here in 2007 (tickets to the meet-and-greet with Sabonis, which are only $50 and are tax deductible, are available for purchase here).

If I do have the opportunity to meet Sabas, there will be just one name remaining on my list of my favorite former Trail Blazers who I would like to meet. That name is Clifford Robinson.

I'm not sure why Uncle Cliffy is and was my favorite Trail Blazer after Sabonis. I've always liked big men who could shoot from range, a trait Robinson developed around his sixth season in the NBA. And there was also the headband and the Uncle Cliffy dance, which I have just as much affection for now as I did back in the mid-90's.

But what I think I was drawn too the most was that I always thought of him as a cool guy. I mean, I liked Clyde and Terry and Buck and Duck and Jerome just fine, but they seemed like adults to me. It was Cliffy who was the rebellious young buck of that group, always willing to fuss, argue, drive fast. He was doing things his own way, and that really spoke to Casey Holdahl as a young teen.

The above vintage Blazer Broadcasting feature from the 1992-93 season about Robinson sums up everything I loved and continue to love about Uncle Cliffy. A little bit wild and unapologetic, but with a good heart and a lot of talent.

There's a little something in this video for everyone. It starts with the last few seconds of an NBA "Stay In School" ad featuring Patrick Ewing, and it only goes up from there. Between appearances from Hakeem Olajuwon, Manute Bol, Cliffy's brother shoveling snow in a pair of Zubaz and a mid-90's Ferrari, this is heretofore my favorite video of the offseason.

(Big ups to Chris McMurtry for finding this video, along with numerous others, that we'll be rolling out through the offseason)


  1. Seeing Cliffy with hair is a bit unsettling to me. I started following the Trail Blazers in 1991 after he got rid of it, so I don't remember that killer flat top. Bummer I missed it! Hahaha.

    by sarahhecht on 8/8/2011 12:46 PM
  2. Uncle Cliff

    by mbmurr1 on 8/9/2011 2:56 PM
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