<
>

Cliff Robinson Talks Marijuana Suspension

Dave D'Alessandro interviewed Uncle Cliffie by phone from his off-season home in Portland.

"I was thinking it was a matter of time," he said. "But at the same time, it took so long to get the results, for a while I thought I was okay, which was stupid.

"So they told me I was suspended, and it was the worst feeling I ever had in my life. To know I couldn't be out there, it was extremely disappointing. I never had to deal with that kind of disappointment in my life. But I brought it upon myself, so I had no one to blame but myself."

Watching the rest of the series was excruciating, but he watched every second, as if to punish himself. And he reached the same conclusion everyone else arrived at: The Nets missed their sixth man, if only because Nenad Krstic, for the first time in his career, played like a scared kid...

"Well, it's a terrible thing to learn how easily you can ruin something great. Last season, I really was happy with where I was as a person, as a player. Everything was good. Great, in fact. And that right there was an all-time blow. I've got things I want to do. I want to continue to play, I want to go on -- maybe coach, maybe work in the front office. I can't do that by making stupid mistakes like that.

"I know I'm going to have to face a lot of questions now. I'm definitely ready for it. And that's a good thing: I think that's the only way you show people that you've gone on, and gone past it -- by facing questions and dealing with it. That's how it has to be."