The NBA honored three individuals who passed away this past week
This week has been tough for the basketball world. Legendary Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, former Portland Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson and ‘Black Panther” actor and NBA fan Chadwick Boseman all passed away in the span of a couple of days.
NBA Playoff action returned on Saturday after players across the league boycotted the scheduled games for Wednesday to raise awareness about police brutality and racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Prior to Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic, the NBA honored Robinson, Olson and Boseman with a moment of silence.
All three had an impact in the basketball world
Robinson was a star in college while playing for the UConn Huskies and ended up being selected by Portland in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft. Robinson spent eight years with the Trail Blazers, where he was an NBA All-Star in 1994 and won the 1993 Sixth Man of the Year Award. The big man helped lead the Trail Blazers to two NBA Finals appearances. Robinson passed away on Saturday morning at the age of 53.
Olson spent 25 years as the Wildcats’ head coach. In that span, Olson made five Final Four appearances, won 11 Pac 12 regular season championships and were victorious in the 1997 National Championship Game against Kentucky. Olson accumulated a 587-190 record with the Arizona basketball program. Olson was 85-years-old.
Boseman reached historic fame by playing the role of the titular superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film. The actor was an avid NBA fan, and helped participate in the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where he gave Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo a “Black Panther” mask. Boseman passed away on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
The hoops world was hurting after these three losses, and the NBA decided to honor their legacy prior to the return of postseason action.