July 17, 2013

NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow wrote the following speech in honor of recently-passed NBA great Flynn Robinson. The speech was delivered at Robinson's memorial service on July 13 by NBRPA Member and Los Angeles basketball legend Keith Erickson.

It is with deep regret that I am unable to be with you today due to a prior family commitment. I was tremendously honored to have been asked by Nancy to communicate a few thoughts about NBRPA Member Flynn Robinson and the impact he had on me and our Association. Let me first say that my heartfelt condolences go out to Flynn’s family and friends, and may you be comforted by his wonderful memories and kindness.

Life is funny in that sometimes you know someone very personally and at other times you feel like you know that person through life’s experiences. In my situation with Flynn, it was the latter. While I got to know Flynn the past couple years in my role as NBRPA President and had the honor to speak with him just before he passed, it was through my own childhood that I first heard the name Flynn Robinson. Or as all of Wisconsin knew him – as the “Electric Eye” due to his uncanny marksmanship.

Most of you here today remember Flynn as a natural scorer who came off the bench to add instant offense to one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, but as a Wisconsin youth I remember him as a member of the first two Milwaukee Bucks teams from 1968 to 1970.

The Electric Eye, Flynn Robinson, was an All-Star for my home-state team in his final season with the Bucks, averaging nearly 22 points per game and leading the league in free-throw percentage. The names of his teammates – Wayne Embry, Guy Rogers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Greg Smith, Jon McGlocklin, Len Chappell, Bob Dandridge, Dick Cunningham and Freddie Crawford – will forever be etched in my mind and those of my fellow Wisconsinites as the first players ever to grace the court in Milwaukee. Flynn in fact even played a hand in the Bucks only championship in 1970-71 as he was traded in the off-season for future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.

When Milwaukee broadcasting legend Eddie Doucette celebrated the exploits of "The Electric Eye" on broadcasts, thousands of basketball-crazed youngsters in Wisconsin like me marveled at Flynn's truly electrifying game. Later in life, finally getting to meet a Legend whose name carries me back to my youth, I found Flynn Robinson the man to be even more impressive than Flynn Robinson, No. 21 for my Milwaukee Bucks.

Lakers legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn may have made Flynn even more famous when he dubbed him "Mr. Instant Point," but he will always be "The Electric Eye" to me.

Thank you Electric Eye, for the memories you created for fans in Milwaukee,
Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Chicago and Baltimore. But thank you even more for your friendship and for showing us all that legends on the court can be even bigger men off it.