Oscar Robertson

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Basketball player
Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson 1960.jpeg

Robertson in 1960 in the Cincinnati Royals jersey

Player information
Full name Oscar Palmer Robertson
Nickname The Big O
birthday 24th November 1938 (age 81)
place of birth Charlotte , Tennessee , United States
size 196 cm
position Point guard
college University of Cincinnati
NBA draft 1960, Territorial Pick , Cincinnati Royals
Clubs as active
1960-1970 United StatesUnited States Cincinnati Royals
1970-1974 United StatesUnited States Milwaukee Bucks
National team
1960 United States

Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938 in Charlotte , Tennessee ) is a retired American basketball player . Between 1960 and 1974 he played in the US professional league NBA for the teams of the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks .

Robertson is 1.96 meters tall and played in the position of point guard . Along with players like Magic Johnson , John Stockton and Isiah Thomas, he is one of the best players in his position in basketball history.

Childhood and youth

When Robertson was four years old, his family moved from Charlotte to Indianapolis . Encouraged by his older brother, Bailey "Flap" Jr. , Oscar began playing basketball on the outdoor courts at the age of six. As a black man in times of racial segregation , he attended the all-African-American Crispus Attucks High School from 1954 . Their basketball team led the outstandingly playing Robertson in 1955 and 1956 to the Indiana State Championship . Never before had an African American high school succeeded.

In the 1950s, American universities began recruiting black players for their sports teams. Robertson, an outstanding high school basketball player of the 1956 class, received more than 30 offers for athletic scholarships . He planned to study business administration and chose the University of Cincinnati . Although he faced racial discrimination there too, he played outstandingly. Point averages of 35.1 (1958), 32.6 (1959) and 33.7 (1960) earned him three awards for Player of the Year. His total of 2,973 points was just one of 14 NCAA records Robertson set during his college career.

The team from Cincinnati was defeated in 1959 and 1960 respectively in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship tournament at the University of California . In 1959 Robertson toyed with the idea of ​​leaving the University early and, like Wilt Chamberlain, playing for a year with the Harlem Globetrotters . He rejected the idea and studied until 1960. That year he played with Jerry West , Walt Bellamy and Jerry Lucas for the US national team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome . The superbly playing troupe, referred to by many as the "true, first dream team", won the gold medal without any problems and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 as a team .

Professional career

In the 1960 NBA draft , the Cincinnati Royals chose Robertson as their territorial pick . On September 10, 1960, he signed with the Royals a three-year contract for 100,000 US dollars . A high contract he by winning the award for Rookie of the Year ( Rookie of the Year ) justified. In his second season (1961/62) Robertson achieved an unprecedented performance: With 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game, he managed to achieve a triple-double on average over the entire season . In the 2016/17 season , Russel Westbrook , Point Guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder, managed to repeat this previously unique achievement. Robertson won his first and only Most Valuable Player award in 1964. The following year, he became president of the NBA players' union .

Although he was one of the best players in the NBA throughout the 1960s, Robertson failed to win an NBA title with the Royals. In 1970, after the Royals had missed the play-offs for the third time , they planned to rebuild the team and offered Robertson to other teams. However, Robertson stubbornly refused a move to the Baltimore Bullets , where he calculated no chances of winning the title.

On April 21, 1970, the Royals finally sent him to the Milwaukee Bucks, which already had an outstanding center in Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ) . Robertson and Alcindor complemented each other perfectly, and the following season they won the title against the Bullets. It was Robertson's only championship, because the Los Angeles Lakers ended their attempt to defend their title in the Western Conference finals. After the 1973 season ended in the first play-off round, the Bucks made it to the final again in 1974. There they lost just under seven games against the Boston Celtics .

After this defeat in the final, the 35-year-old Robertson ended his career. His 9887 assists remained a record in the NBA for almost 20 years and were only outbid by Magic Johnson . He was elected to the All-NBA First Team nine times in a row during his career (1961-1969) and nominated twelve times for the NBA All-Star Game (1961-1972). With 26,710 points he is ranked 12th among the most successful NBA players in terms of points .

From 1965 to 1974 Robertson was president of the National Basketball Players Association .

Robertson's jersey numbers, the 14 for the Royals and 1 for the Bucks, have been withdrawn from both franchises and will no longer be awarded. Oscar Robertson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 28, 1980, the College Basketball Hall of Fame on November 17, 2006, and the FIBA Hall of Fame on September 22, 2009 . He was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NBA .

Following the 2017/18 NBA season , Robertson received the NBA's Lifetime Achievement Award.


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

See also

Web links

  • Oscar Robertson On: NBA website; New York, NY, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018 (in English).
  • Oscar Robertson At: Basketball Reference Web Site; Philadelphia, PA, 2000-2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018 (in English).
  • Oscar Robertson on his own homepage. On: The Big O website; Oakland, CA, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018 (in English).
  • Oscar Robertson in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame On: Hoophall website; Springfield, MA, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017 (in English).
  • Oscar Robertson in the FIBA Hall of Fame . On: FIBA ​​website; Mies, Switzerland, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018 (in English).
  • OScar Robertson in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. On: The College Basketball Experience — website; Kansas City, MO, 2006-2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018 (in English).

Individual evidence

  1. All-Time #NBArank: Top 10 point guards ever. January 12, 2016, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  2. ^ The 25 greatest point guards of all time. March 12, 2019, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  3. Kofi Bofah: 10 Greatest NBA Point Guards of All Time. In: Sportscasting | Pure Sports. June 27, 2017, accessed April 21, 2020 (American English).
  4. ^ The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame :: Oscar Robertson. Retrieved April 21, 2020 (English).
  5. Franziska Wendler: Harden MVP - LeBron comes away empty-handed. NBA Awards: James Harden is awarded MVP, Ben Simmons and Dwane Casey. On: Sport1 website; Ismaning, June 26, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.