Ask anyone that saw Oscar Robertson play in his prime, and they’ll gush about how dominant he was. They’ll say he was one of the greatest — if not the greatest — to ever play the game. Robertson often gets left out of that conversation, but his contemporaries are quick to remind you about the “Big O” whenever the topic comes up.
Mary Schmidt Boyer of the Plain Dealer explains more in her great piece on Robertson:
“Former Cavaliers general manager Wayne Embry is 76 — one year older than Oscar Robertson, his former roommate, who turns 75 today,
“Pound for pound, inch for inch, I think Oscar was the greatest player of all time,” Embry has told anyone who asks for years.
So Robertson deserves to be included in the GOAT discussion along with Jordan and James, Embry was asked.
“I think it’s the others who should be included in the discussion,” he said, emphatically.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 66, agrees. According to an article by Steve Aschburner on NBA.com, Abdul-Jabbar, who won an NBA title with Robertson in Milwaukee in 1971, recently weighed in on the subject, telling ESPN Radio, “LeBron is awesome, MJ was awesome, but I think Oscar Robertson would have kicked them both in the behind.”
Robertson is still the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double over the course of an entire season, which is a record that may never be broken.
While old highlight films can never do a player proper justice, I highly recommend celebrating the 75th birthday of one of the greatest players to ever play by allowing yourself to fall down the Youtube rabbit hole. I’ll start you here.