Collision Course: The Basketball Lives of Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson and The Collapse of the Cincinnati Royals

Collision Course: The Basketball Lives of Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson and The Collapse of the Cincinnati Royals

by William A Cook


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Following the 1956-57 NBA season the Fort Wayne Pistons relocated to Detroit and the Rochester Royals were moved to Cincinnati. The relocations of the Fort Wayne and Rochester franchises left Syracuse as the last small market team in the NBA.

As the 1960s began the NBA entered the crossroads of its existence featuring such mega stars as Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Hal Greer, the Boston Celtics became the most dominating team in the league. Led by Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and John Havlicek, the Celtics would win eleven NBA championships between 1957 and 1969. But during the 1960s the Cincinnati Royals were a team also loaded with All-Stars and former Olympic players like Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Wayne Embry, and Adrian Smith. But the Royals would never win a championship in Cincinnati and in 1973 relocated to Kansas City. Today the franchise is the Sacramento Kings.

So what went wrong in Cincy? While the Royals received only marginal support from their fans and absentee owner Louie Jacobs, the Buffalo concessionaire king and Godfather of sports, the answer to the downfall of the Royals seems to lie somewhere in the basketball stories of Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson whose brilliant careers collided in an unharmonious relationship when the retired Cousy became coach of the Royals.

While Bob Cousy had been credited for saving professional basketball in Boston as a player, he is also credited with destroying professional basketball in Cincinnati as a coach. The uneasy relationship in Cincinnati between Cousy the coach and Robertson the player fueled by leftover competitive conflict from their days as players on the hardwood would become a collision of will between them and render the Royals franchise dysfunctional.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620062104
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc.
Publication date: 06/21/2019
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 797,429
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM A. COOK is the author of numerous books including twelve on baseball history and two on true crime, and has appeared in productions on ESPN2 and the MLB Network. A former healthcare administrator and township councilman in North Brunswick, New Jersey, he lives in Manalapan, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1


1. Bob Cousy & the Holy Cross Crusaders 5

2. A Brief History of the NBA 1946–1951

& the Rise of Bob Cousy and the Boston Celtics 18

3. Scandal Revealed in College Basketball:

The NBA Escapes the Fallout 36

4. The Shot Clock Ushers in the Modern NBA

& Bill Russell Joins the Celtics 53

5. The Rochester Royals Move to Cincinnati

& Maurice Stokes Suffers Career-Ending Injury 67

6. Oscar Robertson & the University of Cincinnati

Bearcats 79

7. The Big O Comes to the NBA & the ABL Folds 103

8. The Royals Move to the Eastern Division

& Cooz Retires a Champion 117

9. Cousy Takes Over at Boston College

& Jerry Lucas Joins the Royals 146

10. The Royals Continue to Struggle in the Eastern

Division & Cousy is Accused of Associating with

Gamblers 167

11. No Room in Cincy for Cooz and The Big O 188

12. The Royals Move to Kansas City

& Bob Cousy Resigns 215

Bibliography 245

Notes 247

About the Author 254

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