Oscar Robertson RumorsAll NBA Players
Charles Barkley: “I have told you guys the five greatest players in my opinion: Michael [Jordan], Oscar Robertson, Wilt [Chamberlain], Bill Russell and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. Then it’s Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Then LeBron is right there. I don’t understand why ya’ll are in such a hurry to move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe. Now if he wins a couple of more championships, I might move him past Kobe and Tim Duncan. You guys always talk about championships. Kobe and Tim have five. LeBron has three…LeBron is amazing. But only in the bulls— of today’s society could I say a guy is one of the eight greatest players ever and it’s an insult to him. That’s crazy. If LeBron wins a couple of more championships I will move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe.
“With Kevin gone,” says one rival executive, “it’s totally fine for Russ to do all the crap he does.” It’s possible Westbrook is about to produce a season of straight-line, single-minded fury we’ve never seen before. When Durant missed the last two months of 2014-15, Westbrook hoarded 40 percent of Oklahoma City’s possessions with a shot, turnover or drawn foul — a number that would set the all-time record if done over a full season. He might come closer to averaging a triple-double than anyone since Oscar Robertson did in 1962.
Simmons thinks so, but Barkley flatly admitted that there’s nothing LeBron can ever do to change his mind and displace Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain from his top 5 list. “I’m not going to just move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe. They didn’t just die,” Barkley said. “ But I will say this about LeBron James: I’ve never seen a man coming out of high school who has handled the success, been a great player, never got in a stitch of trouble. It’s probably been the greatest career ever.”
The new facility’s design will have a lower level that offers more intimate views of the game, possibly echoing the closeness felt in the Arena in the 1970s. “It was a great place to play,” said former Bucks forward Bobby Dandridge, who was present for Saturday’s ceremony, along with Oscar Robertson and McGlocklin from the 1971 champions. “There were no barriers that prevented the fans from seeing you or waiting for you after the game. Security was not an issue. The only thing between the locker room and the court was a curtain. That was it.”
As you can see, once we adjust for the era, Westbrook has the statistical edge. This is not to discredit Robertson and his unprecedented accomplishments. He shouldn’t have to apologize for the era in which he played, nor should he be excluded from consideration as one of the best ever. The Big O was a transcendent basketball player who broke barriers on and off the court and changed the league for the better. Also, let’s not pretend playing 44.3 minutes a night is a walk in the park — no matter how talent-starved the league was back then.