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NBA Legends: Oscar Robertson

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In this article, we break down the career and history of NBA Legend Isiah Thomas.

Oscar Robertson was born on May 3rd, 1937. He played basketball at Oral Roberts University (ORU) from 1955 to 1959. 

In his senior year, he led ORU to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He was drafted into the NBA in 1960 and went on to become one of the greatest players of all time.

Early Life

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Oscar Robertson was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. His father died when he was young and he lived with his mother until she remarried.

At age 13, his mother sent him to live with his grandmother in Oklahoma City. There, he attended Central High School where he won three state championships.

Robertson became a star at Oral Roberts University. He helped them win two NAIA National Championships and was named MVP twice.

After graduating, he joined the Cincinnati Royals in the NBA. He averaged 20 points per game during his rookie season. The following year, he averaged 24.9 points per game for the Royals. He also set an NBA record by scoring 50 points in a single half.

NBA Career

In 1961, he signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Bucks. That same year, he led the league in rebounding with 19.3 rebounds per game. He also averaged 23.8 points per game that season.

During the 1962–63 season, he averaged 26.7 points per game and earned First Team All-Star honors. He was selected again in 1963–64 and 1964–65.

In 1965, he left the Bucks after seven seasons and moved to the Los Angeles Lakers. He spent five seasons there before signing with the Detroit Pistons. He retired after the 1968–69 season.

He is considered one of the best power forwards ever. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979. He was ranked number one on ESPN’s list of “The Top 100 Greatest Players” in 1996.

NBA lines are some of the most widely discussed and speculated, with legendary players like Oscar Robertson often being discussed amongst some of the best in the NBA.

Legacy

He was selected to play in the All-Star Game five times and was named Most Valuable Player in 1962. He also won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1961.

He is considered by many the best player of all time. During the 1964-65 season, he scored an average of 30 points per game.

That same year, he set the record for most consecutive games scoring at least 25 points. He retired after that season but came back to play for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1968-69.

Oscar Robertson passed away on April 6th, 2009. He was 73 years old. The Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Robertson in 1986.

Ocie Robertson’s jersey number 12 has been retired by the Bucks. It will be worn only by former Bucks who have been elected to the team’s Ring of Honor.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded annually to the top college basketball player in America. Robertson won it four times.

Oscar Robertson was ranked 10 among the 100 Greatest Players of All Time by ESPN in 2006. In 2007, he was voted as the 9 picks in the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list.

Oscar Robertson played for the Washington Bullets, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Diego Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks. He was a member of the 1967-68 Philadelphia 76ers championship team.

Personal Life

Robertson has been married four times. His first marriage was to Jeanette Smith from 1958 to 1967. They had three children together. Their daughter, Candace, was killed in a car accident in 1969.

His second wife was Connie Cox, whom he married in 1970. They divorced in 1975.

His third wife was Juanita Johnson, whom he married in 1976. They have two sons together. 

His fourth wife was Sandra Robertson, whom he married in 1989. They have no children together.

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