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Oscar Robertson - Big O
February 25, 2008
Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1,938 in Charlotte, Tennessee), nicknamed "The Big O", is a former American NBA player with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound. Robertson played the guard position, and was a twelve-time All-Star, eleven-time member of the All-NBA Team, and one-time winner of the MVP award in fourteen professional seasons. He is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, and he is regarded as one of the best and most versatile NBA players of all time. He was a key player on the team which brought the Bucks their only NBA championship in the 1,970-71 NBA season.
For his outstanding achievements, Robertson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1,980, and was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1,996. The United States Basketball Writers Association renamed their college Player of the Year Award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in his honor in 1,998, and he was one of five people chosen to represent the inaugural National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2,006.
Prior to the 1,960-61 NBA season, Robertson made himself eligible for the 1,960 NBA Draft. There, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals as a territorial pick. The Royals also gave Robertson a $33,000 signing bonus, a far cry from his childhood days when he was too poor to afford a basketball. Robertson soon proved worthy of their trust, continuing to dominate his opposition on the professional level. In his rookie season, Robertson finished with incredible all-around stats of 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists (leading the league), almost averaging a triple-double for the entire season. For his spectacular performance, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, was elected into the All-NBA First Team -- which would happen in each of Robertson's first nine years -- and made the first of 12 All-Star game appearances. In addition, he was named the All-Star Game MVP following his 23 point, 14 assist, and 9 rebound performance in a West victory.
In the 1,961-62 NBA season, Robertson wrote NBA history. In that season, he became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the entire season, averaging 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Robertson is universally regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, a triple threat who could score inside, outside and also was a stellar playmaker. His rookie scoring average of 30.5 points per game is the third highest of any rookie in NBA history, and Robertson averaged more than 30 points per game in six of his first seven seasons. Only two other players in the NBA have had more 30+ point per game seasons in their career. Robertson was the first player to average more than 10 assists per game, doing so at a time when the criteria for assists were more stringent than today. Furthermore, Robertson is the only guard in NBA history to ever average more than 10 rebounds per game, doing so three times. In addition to his 1,964 regular season MVP award, Robertson won three All-Star Game MVPs in his career (in 1,961, 1,964, and 1,969). He has the all-time highest scoring average in the All-Star Game for players participating in four or more games (the league standard for the record) at 20.5 points per game. He ended his career with 26,710 points (25.7 per game, eighth-highest all time), 9,887 assists (9.5 per game) and 7,804 rebounds (7.5 per game).