"The Big O" Turns The Big 7-0

Amanda RobertsonContributor INovember 24, 2008

A Tribute to the Great Oscar Robertson
At 70-years-old, this 12 time all star has a lot to look back and reflect on.

Just a year after winning the 1961 NBA Rookie of the Year, Robertson amassed an astounding 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game (an average of a triple-double for his entire second season).

His fourth season was also just as good, when he was voted Most Valuable Player.

Oscar proved that all his 14 year career, that he is undoubtedly, the most valuable player of his time.

He played gracefully the position of PG, though standing at 6 foot 5. Many players quote him as being hard to push-around, of very athletic build.

He effortlessly made one handed baseliners, he was trusted with that shot for many game winners.

These efforts never made Robertson an NBA Champion. Ironically, one season after being traded to the Bucks by coach Bob Cousy for Flynn Robinson and Charlie Paulk, he won his coveted prize.

Though most of his career lays in Cincinnati (college career and with the Cincinnati Royals) he helped bring the Bucks their first and only title so far in 1971. He and fellow Buck Lew Alcinidor sweeped the Baltimore Bullets 4-0 (the second sweep in Finals history).

Or how about when "The Big O" retired from the game after the '73-'74 season? He held the NBA record for assists (9,887), and was second on the all time scoring list (26,710), only to Wilt Chamberlain.

Oscar concluded his 2003 autobiography The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game with this to say:
"As I write this, basketball has entered a strange new century. The game has become international; it has become computerized and wireless and fiber-optic. Nobody knows what the next five years will look like, what heights players will be capable of reaching, how brightly they will shine. Whatever happens to the sport, I hope that the men who gave their blood, sweat, and tears to build the league will be remembered. I hope that people will never forget that when any man reaches for previously unattainable heights, he does so only because he stands on shoulders of those who came before."

Oscar, much is due to you. Players today pay much respect to your game, for you showed them how to play like the best.