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

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9780803234635: The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game

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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Review:

While The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game will not disappoint basketball purists longing for Oscar Robertson's play-by-play of favorite games, the attraction of this autobiography is Robertson's perspective on the evolution of the sport and on the racial struggles that were the context of his formative years. Called by many basketball experts the greatest all-around player ever, Robertson earned an astonishing array of honors including an Olympic gold medal, 12 NBA All-Star appearances, the NBA Rookie of the Year award, and the 1964 NBA MVP award. Most remarkably, Robertson remains the only player in basketball history with a triple-double season (double-digit averages for scoring, rebounds, and assists).

While Robertson could have easily candy-coated this impressive record for his retrospective, he devotes large sections of his book to the racial battles he faced off court, and his final chapters recount his controversial efforts as an NBA union leader to create free agency, a pension plan, and disability protection for players. In telling his life story, he lays bare the racism and mistreatment he suffered at the hands of individuals and institutions throughout his career, from the Mayor of Indianapolis and Cincinnati University to the NBA and CBS Sports. At times, his critiques can seem excessive (e.g. his discussions of the distortions in the film Hoosiers, while interesting, are repeated a bit too often), and some sections (like his attempts to compare himself to contemporary players) border on self-indulgence. Yet, he seems justified in arguing that his achievements--largely accomplished on second-rate teams, against a back-drop of unprecedented racial strife, and before the modern era of sports-media saturation--are easily underrepresented. In the end, The Big O offers a complex, human portrait to complement a spectacular sports career. --Patrick O'Kelley

From the Inside Flap:

This is the story of perhaps the greatest all-around player in basketball history, told straight from his mouth.

The name Oscar Robertson nowadays gets mentioned in conjunction with one of basketball's seminal accomplishments: the triple-double season. The year was 1962. He was all of twenty-three. No player in basketball history had ever done this. No one has done it since--not Magic Johnson, not Larry Bird, not Michael or Kobe. Throughout the first five years of his career, he averaged a triple-double.

Videotape does not do him justice. The images are washed out, the colors faded and fuzzy in a manner associated with bygone eras, the fashions and style of play not aging well. And yet there is palpable greatness.

He was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on the first ballot, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches named him their player of the century. ESPN put him among their fifty greatest athletes of the century, the National Basketball Association on their list of the fifty greatest players. On and on. So many accolades that they run into one another.

But the story of Oscar Robertson is about much more than basketball. The story of Oscar Robertson is one of a shy black child growing up in a city so segregated that, until he is ten years old, his only exposure to white people is the distant memory of two Tennessee farm owners whose land his father had worked. It is the story of a poor family, and absent parents working long hours without complaint or reward.

The story of Oscar Robertson is also the story of the basketball-crazed state of Indiana and Crispus Attucks High School, the high school he led to the state championship. He joins the University of Cincinnati's basketball team and handles the ball on the perimeter in a way that has never been seen before.

Oscar Robertson enters the NBA with the Cincinnati Royals, who have been just barely holding on as they wait for the fledgling star. Robertson does not disappoint. Moving to the backcourt, he simply revolutionizes the game.

The story of Oscar Robertson is one of a superstar at the height of his career becoming the president of a union, the National Basketball Players Association, using his fame to try to improve conditions for all basketball players. It is the story of the man who sues the NBA for the right to free agency.

He is thirty-one years old when the Milwaukee Bucks trade for him. And so Oscar Robertson's story is also the story of a veteran player who joins young superstar Lew Alcindor (the future Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and leads Milwaukee to an NBA championship.

It is the story of a man who, at thirty-four years old, is forced to leave the game. Who is blacklisted from coaching and is forced out of broadcasting. Who must face questions not about whether he fought the good fight, but how he fought it.

Two years after he leaves basketball, after six years of legal wrangling, Robertson wins his lawsuit with the NBA. It is the story of a man who revolutionized the game of basketball twice: once on the court, and once in the way that the business of basketball is conducted. It 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. Of a complex hero. An uncompromising man. It is Oscar Robertson's story.

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Descrizione libro University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780803234635

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Descrizione libro University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780803234635

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Descrizione libro Bison Books. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 376 pages. 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 basketballs most impressive feats: averaging the triple-double in a single seasona 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 NBAhistory; and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980Robertsons 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. (20110908) This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780803234635

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Descrizione libro University of Nebraska Press. Condizione libro: New. pp. 376 22 Illus. Codice libro della libreria 3402763

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