Oscar Robertson

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Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee) is an American former NBA player and is considered by many to be one of the greatest basketball players in history. Coaching legend Red Auerbach described Robertson as the most versatile player he had ever seen play. [citation needed]


[edit] Early life

Robertson was raised in a poor section of Tennessee; he was so poor that his family could not afford a basketball for him to practice with. However, by the time he reached high school, his competitive drive led him to the team. A three-time All-State selection at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he led the team to consecutive state championships in 1955 and 1956, the "Big O" attended the University of Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1960. While there he established 19 school and 14 NCAA records. In his sophomore, junior and senior years Robertson was voted College Player of the Year and led the nation in scoring.

[edit] The 1960 Olympics

Olympic medal record
Men's Basketball
Gold 1960 Rome United States

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound<ref>http://www.nba.com/history/robertson_bio.html</ref> (1.96 m, 95 kg) Robertson co-captained the 1960 Summer Olympics gold medal team with Jerry West, called by some the greatest assemblage of amateur basketball talent ever. Robertson was the team's starting forward and (with Jerry Lucas) the leading scorer, as the United States team won its eight games by a dominating average margin of 42.4 points. Ten of the twelve college players on the undefeated American squad went on to play professionally in the NBA, including future Hall-of-Famers West, Lucas and Walt Bellamy <ref>http://www.usabasketball.com/history/moly_1960.html</ref>.

[edit] Professional career

Robertson's 14-year National Basketball Association career as a point guard with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks included Rookie of the Year honors in 1961, three All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards (1961, 1964, 1969), and the 1964 NBA MVP Award.

As a rookie, he scored 30.5 points per game (third best all-time by a rookie), led the league in assists (the first of six assist titles), averaged 10.1 rebounds per game, and was named the All-Star Game's MVP. Robertson's best statistical season was 1961-62, when he averaged a triple-double for the entire season: 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds per game, a feat that has never been duplicated. Robertson averaged more than 30 points per game in six of his first seven seasons with the Royals — only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have more career 30+ point per game seasons. Robertson was the first player to average more than 10 assists per game in an NBA season, and accomplished the feat five times with Cincinnati at a time when the criteria for an assist was more stringent than it is today <ref>http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_20020428/ai_n10784766</ref>. Robertson also averaged more than 10 rebounds per game three different seasons with the Royals. No other guard has averaged ten rebounds per game for a season even once. In 1967-68, Robertson led the league in both scoring average and assists per game, although the official scoring and assist titles went to other players because the NBA based the titles on point and assist totals (not averages) prior to the 1969-70 season. All of his successes with Cincinnati did not, however, include a trip to the NBA finals or any division titles.

In the 1970-71 season, he joined up with the Milwaukee Bucks and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, where he helped lead them to a league best 66-16 record (including a then-record 20 game win streak), a dominating 12-2 record in the playoffs, and the NBA title with a 4-0 sweep of the Baltimore Bullets. Two more division titles with the Bucks followed in the 1971-72 and 1972-73 season. In Robertson's last season, he helped lead Milwaukee to a 59-23 record (best in the NBA) and the 1974 NBA finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games. As an indication of Robertson's importance to the Bucks, in the season following his retirement, the Bucks fell to last place in their division with a 38-44 record.

Robertson ended his career with 26,710 points (25.7 per game), 9,887 assists (9.5 per game) and 7,804 rebounds (7.5 per game). At the time of his retirement, he was the NBA's all-time leader in career assists and free throws made, and he was the second all-time leading scorer (to Chamberlain). Robertson's 20.5 point per game average in the NBA All-Star Game is the highest all-time (under the criteria of at least three games played). Robertson earned All-NBA honors 11 times and led the Royals and Bucks to 10 playoff berths. For his career, Robertson had 181 triple-doubles, far more than any other player.

Robertson was ranked #3 on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of All Time in 2003.

After he retired as an active player, he worked as a color commentator with Brent Musburger on games televised by CBS during the 1974-1975 NBA season.

Since his retirement from basketball, Robertson has served as honorary spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation, and in 1997 donated one of his own kidneys to his daughter Tia, who had suffered lupus-related kidney failure.

The United States Basketball Writers Association renamed their Player of the Year Award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998. This trophy honors the top men's college basketball player each year.

On November 17, 2006, Robertson was recognized for his impact on college basketball as a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was one of five, along with John Wooden, Bill Russell, Dean Smith and Dr. James Naismith, selected to represent the inaugural class <ref>http://nabc.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/111806aaa.html</ref>

[edit] Books

  • Robertson, Oscar The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game (2003) ISBN 1-57954-764-8 autobiography

[edit] Notes


[edit] External links

National Basketball Association | NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Nate Archibald | Paul Arizin | Charles Barkley | Rick Barry | Elgin Baylor | Dave Bing | Larry Bird | Wilt Chamberlain | Bob Cousy | Dave Cowens | Billy Cunningham | Dave DeBusschere | Clyde Drexler | Julius Erving | Patrick Ewing | Walt Frazier | George Gervin | Hal Greer | John Havlicek | Elvin Hayes | Magic Johnson | Sam Jones | Michael Jordan | Jerry Lucas | Karl Malone | Moses Malone | Pete Maravich | Kevin McHale | George Mikan | Earl Monroe | Hakeem Olajuwon | Shaquille O'Neal | Robert Parish | Bob Pettit | Scottie Pippen | Willis Reed | Oscar Robertson | David Robinson | Bill Russell | Dolph Schayes | Bill Sharman | John Stockton | Isiah Thomas | Nate Thurmond | Wes Unseld | Bill Walton | Jerry West | Lenny Wilkens | James Worthy

1960 Olympic Champions Men's Basketball

Jay Arnette | Walt Bellamy | Bob Boozer | Terry Dischinger | Burdette Haldorson | Darrall Imhoff
Allen Kelley | Lester Lane | Jerry Lucas | Oscar Robertson | Adrian Smith | Jerry West

Coach: Pete Newell
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Oscar Robertson

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