52 Facts About Oscar Robertson


Oscar Robertson's playing career, especially during high school and college, was plagued by racism.


Oscar Robertson is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted in 1980 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the 1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team and president of the National Basketball Players Association.


Also in 1980, Oscar Robertson was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary Team.


Oscar Robertson was again voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.


Oscar Robertson was ranked as the 36th best American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN.


The landmark NBA antitrust suit, which was filed when Oscar Robertson was the president of the NBA Players' Association, led to an extensive reform of the league's strict free agency and draft rules and, subsequently, to higher salaries for all players.


Oscar Robertson was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2009.


Oscar Robertson preferred to play basketball over baseball, which was more popular in the neighborhood because it was "a poor kids' game".


Oscar Robertson learned how to shoot by using tennis balls and rags wrapped with rubber bands and tossing them into a peach basket in the back of his family's home.


Oscar Robertson attended Crispus Attucks High School, an all-black high school, where he was coached by Ray Crowe, whose emphasis on a fundamentally sound game had a positive effect on his style of play.


Oscar Robertson continued to excel while playing for the Cincinnati Bearcats, recording a scoring average of 33.8 points per game, the third-highest in college history.


When Oscar Robertson left college, he was the all-time leading NCAA scorer until fellow Hall-of-Fame player Pete Maravich topped him in 1970.


Oscar Robertson took Cincinnati to national prominence during his time there, but the university's greatest success in basketball took place immediately after his departure, when the team won national titles in 1961 and 1962, missing a third consecutive title in 1963 by just two points.


Oscar Robertson continues to stand atop the Bearcats' record book and the many records he still holds include points in one game at 62, career triple-doubles at 10, career rebounds per game at 15.2, and career points at 2,973.


Oscar Robertson had many outstanding individual game performances, including 10 triple-doubles.


In those days, Southern university programs such as Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina did not recruit black athletes, and road trips to segregated cities were especially difficult, with Oscar Robertson often sleeping in college dorms instead of hotels.


Oscar Robertson was a starting forward along with Purdue's Terry Dischinger, but played point guard as well.


Oscar Robertson was the leading scorer of the team, as the US team won its nine games by a margin of 42.4 points.


Oscar Robertson was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals as a territorial pick.


Oscar Robertson broke the assists record by Bob Cousy, who had recorded 715 assists two seasons earlier, by logging 899, and joined Johnny Green and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history with the height of 6'5 or smaller to have grabbed 900+ rebounds in a season.


Oscar Robertson led the NBA in free-throw percentage, scored a career-high 31.4 points per game, and averaged 9.9 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game.


Oscar Robertson won the NBA MVP award and became the only player other than Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to win it from 1960 to 1968.


Oscar Robertson won his second All-Star Game MVP award that year after scoring 26 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, and dishing off 8 assists in an East victory.


Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double over his first five seasons in the NBA with the Royals, recording averages of 30.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.6 assists per game in 451 contest.


Oscar Robertson himself stated that the main reason was that clubs basically owned their players: players were forbidden to talk to other clubs once their contract was up, because free agency did not exist until 1988.


In 1995, Oscar Robertson was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.


In 1994, a nine-foot bronze statue of Oscar Robertson was erected outside the Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center, the current home of Cincinnati Bearcats basketball.


Oscar Robertson attends many of the games there, viewing the Bearcats from a chair at courtside.


In July 2004, Oscar Robertson was named interim head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball team for approximately a month while head coach Bob Huggins served a suspension stemming from a drunk-driving conviction.


Oscar Robertson was one of five people, along with John Wooden, Bill Russell, Dean Smith, and James Naismith, selected to represent the inaugural class.


In January 2011, Robertson joined a class action lawsuit against the NCAA, O'Bannon v NCAA, challenging the organization's use of the images of its former student athletes.


In 2015, Oscar Robertson was among a group of investors that placed a marijuana legalization initiative on the Ohio ballot.


Oscar Robertson appeared in a television advertisement advocating for passage of the initiative, but it was ultimately defeated.


Oscar Robertson is regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, a triple threat who could score inside, outside and was a stellar playmaker.


Oscar Robertson's 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.


Oscar 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.


Oscar Robertson is the first guard in NBA history to ever average more than 10 rebounds per game, doing so three times.


Oscar Robertson ended his career with 26,710 points, 9,887 assists, and 7,804 rebounds.


Oscar Robertson led the league in assists six time; at the time of his retirement, he was the NBA's all-time leader in career assists and free throws made, and was the second all-time leading scorer behind Wilt Chamberlain.


Oscar Robertson was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 28,1980.


On October 30,1980, Oscar Robertson was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary Team.


In 1996, Oscar Robertson was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all-time by being named to the NBA 50th Anniversary Team.


Oscar Robertson received the "Player of the Century" award by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2000 and was ranked third on SLAM "Top 75 NBA Players" in 2003, behind fellow NBA legends Jordan and Chamberlain.


Oscar Robertson was the second highest ranked point guard on the list again behind only Johnson.


In 2017, it was announced that a life-sized bronze sculpture of Oscar Robertson would be featured alongside other Indiana sports stars at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis' Old National Bank Sports Legends Avenue of Champions, located in the museum's sports park opening in 2018.


Oscar Robertson remembers a tough childhood, plagued by poverty and racism.


In 1997, Oscar Robertson donated one of his kidneys to his daughter Tia, who suffered lupus-related kidney failure.


Oscar Robertson has been an honorary spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation ever since.


Oscar Robertson owns the chemical company Orchem, based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


On June 9,2007, Oscar Robertson received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Cincinnati for both his philanthropic and entrepreneurial efforts.


Oscar Robertson is a member of the Beta Eta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.


On July 20,2021, on the eve of the Bucks winning their second championship and first since his tenure, Oscar Robertson wrote a piece in The Players' Tribune voicing his support for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.