Thursday, November 24

Happy Birthday

Oscar Palmer Robertson
born November 24,1938

• Led segregated Indianapolis Crispus Attucks High School to 45 straight wins and back-to-back state titles, the first all-black school in the nation to win a state title in an integrated sport (story here).

• Three-time NCAA Player of the Year at Cincinnati. Hey, freshmen couldn't play in those days.

• Co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, probably the greatest amateur team ever assembled (Jerry West, Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Terry Dischinger, Adrian Smith).

• 11-time NBA All-Star, 1964 MVP, three-time All-Star game MVP, 1961 Rookie of the Year.

• It's often noted that in the 1962-63 season he averaged a triple double. Less frequently is it mentioned that he nearly did that six years running:
Year  Reb    Asst   Pts
61 10.1 9.7 30.5
62 12.5 11.4 30.8
63 10.4 9.5 28.3
64 9.9 11.0 31.4
65 9.0 11.5 30.4
66 7.7 11.1 31.3
• Totaling points and assists he's far and away the all-time NBA leader, averaging 44.7 ppg. Magic Johnson is second at 41.9, but The Big O didn't have the benefit of the Lakers' scorekeepers.


Anonymous said...

Doghouse, I'm a little too young to have really appreciated Oscar in his prime, but I'm perfectly willing to grant you he's the best ever. But I did get to appreciate Magic in his prime. I may have a soft spot, but he made me fall in love with basketball. You don't need to swipe at Magic to give O his due. Now Jordan? Swipe away!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Robertson!

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. Riley!

William F. Glennon said...

25,000+ points.
Thirteen years in the NBA.

And never once committed a foul.

To be strictly accurate, he was on the wrong end of two-five bad calls every night...

But he never actually committed a foul.

As anyone who saw him argue with a ref can attest.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

No swipe at Magic's game, Dog, just the creative accounting behind his stats.

Anonymous said...

segregated Indianapolis Crispus Attucks High School

Isn't that the one Kurt Vonnegut referred to as "Innocent Bystander High School" in Breakfast of Champions?

(I refuse to bother to look this up. It's a holiday.)