He was known as ‘Instant Point’ as dubbed by the late great Chick Hearn, Flynn Robinson lost his battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 72 in Los Angeles. And how ironic that it was his only season in L.A. 1972 where Robinson won his only NBA title which was the first in Los Angeles Lakers history.
That was the team that won 33 straight games, that was the team that saw one of the greatest Lakers of them all Elgin Baylor retire just 8 games into the season. But for Flynn Robinson (as you’ll hear in our sitdown chat) he was most excited because he got to play for this storied franchise and in this special city.
Flynn had played in Cincinnati, Chicago, and Milwaukee before coming to the Lakers and getting a chance to be the 6th man that helped catapult them into one of the greatest teams in NBA history. When the Lakers needed a hoop off the bench, he was ready to shoot at any moment. He was a give me the damned ball type of player…and I mean that in a good way. If there was a 3-point play in those days he would’ve been more than just a 1-time all-star.
I was saddened to learn of his death yesterday when I received an e-mail from the Lakers. It was just this past December when we had a nice long chat on the night that I got to co-host the Team to Win charity event (with Bill Walton) for the 40th anniversary of the Lakers first championship. Before I turned on the recorder Flynn and I enjoyed a nice exchange when he invited me to join him this summer at a fishing charity event for kids that he regularly held in Long Beach (if I recall correctly) and I gave him my number to reach me. Recently I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from him. He told me that he’d been battling some form of cancer but was doing ok. But I guess that’s what got him.
Flynn Robinson had an engaging personality and smile and all the guys loved him. RIP Flynn, I just wish we could’ve spent more time together.
Flynn Robinson reminiscing with Ted Sobel: