HoopsHype Oscar Robertson rumors

February 23, 2012 Updates

It is not surprising that Robertson would back Howard; he’s been fighting for player rights since he was an NBA superstar in the 1960s and ’70s. He sued the NBA in a landmark lawsuit in the 1970s and contended that the NBA draft and other rules restricting player movement violated antitrust laws. The suit was settled in 1976 when the league agreed to let players become free agents. In effect, Robertson sacrificed his own future for the good of the players who came after him. After the lawsuit, he was essentially blackballed from any future NBA coaching or executive positions that almost certainly would have come his way. “They didn’t want to be bothered with Oscar Robertson because of that (the lawsuit),” said Robertson, who is proud that he and some of his contemporaries blazed the trail so players like LeBron would have the right to make The Decision. “We were successful in getting these rights … rights for players to be able to move once their contracts were up, the right to have better hotels, better doctors, better everything. It made basketball players like movie stars.” Orlando Sentinel

February 16, 2012 Updates

Oscar Robertson is stepping back into the spotlight. After living quietly in Ohio, the NBA Hall of Famer wants to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Robertson was diagnosed with the disease about a year ago and had his prostate removed. He is serving as honorary chairman at the International Prostate Cancer Foundation’s gala in Orlando next month. The 73-year-old said his diagnosis followed a routine PSA screening. “I had some numbers that went up a little bit and that was the indicator something was wrong,” he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. Washington Post

February 9, 2012 Updates

Robertson on the Heat's title chances: "I want LeBron to win. It felt like the whole country was against him last year. But I've always said this: To win championships, you need to have a center who can get you 12 points, 10 rebounds. The Heat don't have that." TCPalm.com

June 8, 2011 Updates

At that, Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson, who may have been every bit as good as Jordan in his day, just rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “I didn’t hear the comments,” Robertson told the Dan Sileo Show on WDAE in Tampa Wednesday morning. “Let me tell you about what being great is. Ever hear of Elgin Baylor? Never mention his name, do we? Great basketball player. You know what you have today? Michael Jordan was a great player, but he won after Chicago got Pippen, Grant and those other players to go along with him, because for a while they couldn’t beat Detroit. “Everybody looks at what you’ve done. Sure he won six championships, Russell won eleven. There are other players on these teams when they play. They don’t play by themselves. Michael Jordan is a great player. Was he the greatest? Ask Kobe that. Ask Bill Russell. Ask Oscar Robertson. Ask Wilt Chamberlain. Ask Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, ask those guys.” Sporting News

April 30, 2011 Updates

The Milwaukee Bucks are presenting a special tribute on Bucks.com to the franchise’s 1971 World Championship team over the next week as Saturday, April 30 marks the 40th anniversary of the Bucks winning at Baltimore to complete a four-game sweep to bring the NBA championship to Milwaukee. Starting today, Friday, April 29, the Bucks are unveiling their championship anniversary content on Bucks.com with an introductory video by the television “voice of the Bucks” Jim Paschke. The web page will contain feature articles, photos and videos with a new top story each day for the next week. The Bucks are pleased to announce that longtime, respected Milwaukee journalist Dale Hofmann will be contributing exclusive articles to the tribute section with interviews of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wayne Embry. NBA.com

That’s the kind of pressure that the second-year pro took with him into the 1970-’71 season, and when he emerged from it with a ring on his finger, everyone thought it was just the beginning of something that could last for a very long time. Everyone but Abdul-Jabbar. "I didn’t think of it in those terms," he says now as he looks back on the team’s historic 4-0 sweep of the Baltimore Bullets in the Final series. "I kind of was relieved that I’d been able to play on a championship team at every level of the game. I was very proud of that and pleased. I felt that I had arrived in a way that no one could ever knock me again. "Being able to win a world championship and be the series MVP, I was very happy for my own personal achievement, and I was happy for the team and our fans. I didn’t know how special it was at that point, because it was only my second year in professional basketball." NBA.com

In another time with other egos that could have caused a problem. Whose team was it now, Kareem’s or Oscar’s? "I never considered that," said Abdul-Jabbar. "I didn’t mind deferring to Oscar. He’d earned all the accolades that he had. We were very fortunate to have him. I don’t know anybody on the team who didn’t respect and look up to Oscar as a superb athlete. "I felt we had a great relationship. I like anybody who knew anything about the game knew he was a total master. We really were able to bond. There was just a lot there that enabled us to be together." NBA.com

It might have been more fun if the Bucks had wrapped up the championship at home, but the fans didn’t seem to mind as an estimated 10,000 of them greeted the team when it returned to Mitchell Field. Abdul-Jabbar missed that welcome because he went straight home from Baltimore to New York before returning to Milwaukee for the team’s formal celebration a few days later. But he remembered a much more intimate but equally heartfelt gathering the previous year after the disappointment in New York. "We took a charter flight, and we got back to Milwaukee at 1:30 or 2 o’clock in the morning, and there were like 300 fans at the airport," he recalled. "I’d never had that kind of experience before with fans. I thought they were just great. They really impressed me with how they supported us." NBA.com

April 18, 2011 Updates

Q. Do you mind sharing your list? A. Sure. In chronological order it was Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. There are two players today, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who have a chance to join that list. Q. Compare your son Luke’s talents to yours. A. He’s a much better player than I was. He’s in his eighth season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the best team in basketball, and he plays for Phil Jackson. New York Times

March 21, 2011 Updates

Hunter said the owners had made a crippling proposal, a long lockout loomed and these players in the room would bear the biggest financial and public relations burden of a work stoppage. And then he started to tell them he had thought long and hard about the way Oscar Robertson and Jerry West staged a protest at the 1964 All-Star Game, threatening a boycott until they had leveraged the league into the most rudimentary of medical benefits and pension contributions. Yahoo! Sports

January 27, 2011 Updates

Oscar Robertson is asked to affix his autograph to various items every day and he recently discovered a new one being pushed in front of him by fans – trading cards featuring him as a player at the University of Cincinnati. Some come with a swath of his “game jersey” attached. Others have him in his freshman number, 22. This was not a product he recalled approving for his likeness to be used. He tried calling the trading card companies (Upper Deck, Donruss) for an explanation yet couldn’t get a response. The answer was the NCAA had signed licensing deals with the companies without Robertson’s direct consent. The association maintains it has the right to control a player’s likeness in perpetuity. Yahoo! Sports

“The arrogance of the NCAA to say, ‘we have the right to do this,’ … is what troubles me the most,” Robertson told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. “The University of Cincinnati gets a fee each time my picture is used on a card. I don’t. When I played there, there was nothing like this ever agreed to.” Yahoo! Sports

The O’Bannon suit, which is progressing through the courts, argued the NCAA “has illegally deprived former student-athletes” from “myriad revenue streams” including “DVDs, video games, memorabilia, photographs, television rebroadcasts and use in advertising.” You can now add trading cards to the list. The lawsuit does not question the NCAA’s ability to market current players, but argues that the NCAA should not be able to maintain control over people forever. The plaintiffs’ case is being argued by a slew of law firms, including the renowned Washington-based Hausfeld LLP, which specializes in difficult class action suits, having previously secured reparations for Holocaust survivors from Swiss banks. Yahoo! Sports

September 7, 2010 Updates

LeBron James: Wanna send a shout out to the 'Big O' Oscar Robertson. For what u did and continuing to do for the game of basketb ... tmi.me/16gZt Twitter

September 5, 2010 Updates

When asked about James, Robertson went into teacher mode. “I’m going to give you a little scenario about something,’’ he said. “People don’t think beyond a couple of years ago. When Shaq [O’Neal] was in Orlando, what happened to him? When Kareem was in Milwaukee, what happened to him? Wilt [Chamberlain] went to Los Angeles. [Good teams] are always going to make a key trade. “LeBron has an opportunity just like Oscar Robertson had an opportunity. Cleveland thinks he should have stayed, [but] he has a right to do this.’’ Boston Globe

While Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee) and Chamberlain (Philadelphia) won a championship with their first teams, players such as O’Neal, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler, and Bob McAdoo moved to new clubs to reach the pinnacle. “What’s the big deal, besides having your feelings hurt?’’ said Robertson, referring to Cleveland. “Everywhere there’s been a championship, there’s been a key trade. Bill Russell came to Boston from St. Louis because they didn’t allow black players down there. “You look at all the other situations. This is what’s happening. The Lakers have always been making trades. How did the Lakers get [Pau] Gasol? How did Boston get [Kevin] Garnett? And Ray Allen? It’s almost like it was a setup deal.’’ Boston Globe

August 11, 2010 Updates

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