The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game

Overview

Perhaps the greatest all-around player in basketball history, Oscar Robertson revolutionized basketball as a member of the Cincinnati Royals and won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks. When he was twenty-three, in 1962, he accomplished one of basketball’s most impressive feats: averaging the triple-double in a single season—a feat never matched since. Cocaptain of the Olympic gold medal team of 1960; named the player of the century by the National Association of Basketball Coaches; named one of the fifty ...

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The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game

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Overview

Perhaps the greatest all-around player in basketball history, Oscar Robertson revolutionized basketball as a member of the Cincinnati Royals and won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks. When he was twenty-three, in 1962, he accomplished one of basketball’s most impressive feats: averaging the triple-double in a single season—a feat never matched since. Cocaptain of the Olympic gold medal team of 1960; named the player of the century by the National Association of Basketball Coaches; named one of the fifty greatest players in NBA history; and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980—Robertson’s accolades are as numerous as they are impressive.
 
But The Big O is also the story of a shy black child from a poor family in a segregated city; of the superstar who, at the height of his career, became the president of the National Basketball Players Association to try to improve conditions for all players. It is the story of the man forced from the game at thirty-four and blacklisted from coaching and broadcasting. But two years after he left basketball, after six years of legal wrangling, Robertson won his lawsuit against the NBA, eliminating the option clause that bound a player to a single NBA team in perpetuity and ending restrictions on free agency.
 
The Big O is the story of how the NBA, as we now know it, was built; of race in America in the second half of the twentieth century; and of an uncompromising man and a complex hero.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

“Known as an intelligent player and respected by his peers as an intelligent man, Robertson puts an exclamation point on the accolades with this thoughtful reflection on a life lived without compromise. A well-written, entertaining, and thought-provoking sports autobiography—but would we ever expect less than a triple-double from the Big O?”—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

— Wes Lukowsky

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"Oscar Robertson is an incomparable superstar. He is also a thoughtful man and a man of vision. If you want insight into what formed Oscar in the crucial years of his youth, look here. It's a great book."
Bill Russell
"Oscar was one of basketball's great leaders, and his life is one of basketball's great stories. He was unafraid, unabashed, and unmatched in everything he did. There will never be another like him."
Jerry West
"Oscar Robertson was never a rookie. He was the measuring stick for how a player should play. It is an honor to know him and to have competed against him. He is a man for the ages."
Jason Kidd
"Every time I get on a basketball court, I'm chasing Oscar Robertson's legend. He set the standard for guys like me. I can only hope, when I'm done playing, that I've come close to what he's accomplished."
Publishers Weekly

“As one of the NBA’s all-time greats, Oscar Robertson has much to pass on to both his old fans and young basketball enthusiasts perhaps unfamiliar with his legacy.”—Publishers Weekly

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“Oscar Robertson is an incomparable superstar. He is also a thoughtful man and a man of vision. If you want insight into what formed Oscar in the crucial years of his youth, look here. It’s a great book.”—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bill Russell
“Oscar was one of basketball’s great leaders, and his life is one of basketball's great stories. He was unafraid, unabashed, and unmatched in everything he did. There will never be another like him.”—Bill Russell
Jerry West
“Oscar Robertson was never a rookie. He was the measuring stick for how a player should play. It is an honor to know him and to have competed against him. He is a man for the ages.”—Jerry West
Jason Kidd

“Every time I get on a basketball court, I’m chasing Oscar Robertson’s legend. He set the standard for guys like me. I can only hope, when I’m done playing, that I’ve come close to what he’s accomplished.”—Jason Kidd

Booklist - Wes Lukowsky
“Known as an intelligent player and respected by his peers as an intelligent man, Robertson puts an exclamation point on the accolades with this thoughtful reflection on a life lived without compromise. A well-written, entertaining, and thought-provoking sports autobiography—but would we ever expect less than a triple-double from the Big O?”—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
SI.com - Zach Lowe
"Oscar Robertson is remarkably honest in his autobiography, The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game. . . . It's a fun read."—Zach Lowe, SI.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803234635
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 419,086
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Oscar Robertson, seen by many as one of the best and most versatile basketball players of his time, played in the NBA for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks during his fourteen-year professional basketball career.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface ix

Chapter 1 The Crossroads of America * 1938-1951 1

Chapter 2 Li'l Flap * 1951-1954 19

Chapter 3 "They Don't Want Us" * 1954-1955 42

Chapter 4 "Talk Is Cheap" * 1955-1956 55

Chapter 5 Collegiate Life * 1956-1958 72

Chapter 6 "What They Eat Don't Make Me Fat" * 1958-1959 94

Chapter 7 Gold * 1959-1960 115

Chapter 8 Rookie Stardom * 1960-1961 130

Chapter 9 The Triple-Double * 1961-1963 149

Chapter 10 Union President, NBA Royalty * 1963-1968 (Part One) 171

Chapter 11 The Sixties Continued * 1963-1968 (Part Two) 199

Chapter 12 Moving On * 1969-1970 225

Chapter 13 Milwaukee, Lew Alcindor, and the Championship * 1970-1971 248

Chapter 14 Do Not Go Gently * 1971-1974 275

Chapter 15 Endings * 1974-1976 304

Epilogue 316

Credits 333

Index 334

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