The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Western Conference's Pacific Division; the Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The team plays its home games at the Golden 1 Center; the Kings are one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation. They originated in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Seagrams in 1923 and joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the Rochester Royals, they jumped to the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the NBA, in 1948. As the Royals, the team was successful on the court, winning the NBA championship in 1951; the team, found it difficult to turn a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester and relocated to Cincinnati in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972 the team relocated to Kansas City and was renamed the Kansas City-Omaha Kings because it split its home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1975, the Kings ceased playing home games in Omaha and became the Kansas City Kings. The team again failed to find success in its market and moved to Sacramento in 1985; the Royals defected to the NBL's rival, the Basketball Association of America, in 1948. In 1949, as a result of that year's absorption of the NBL by the BAA, the Royals became members of the newly formed NBA along with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, Indianapolis Jets. A year the BAA absorbed the remaining NBL teams to become the National Basketball Association; the move to the BAA took away Rochester's profitable exhibition schedule, placed it in the same Western Division that Minneapolis was in. Of the two best teams in pro basketball, only one of them could play in the league finals from 1949 to 1954. Minneapolis, with George Mikan, was always a little better at playoff time than the Royals. With their smallish arena and now-limited schedule, the Royals became less profitable as Harrison maintained a remarkably high standard for the team, which finished no lower than second in its division in both the NBL and BAA/NBA from 1945 to 1954.
Harrison knew that the NBA was outgrowing Rochester, spent most of the 1950s looking for a buyer for his team. The Royals won the NBA title in 1951 by defeating the New York Knicks 4–3, it is the only NBA championship in the franchise's history. The title, did not translate into profit for the Royals; the roster turned over except for Bobby Wanzer. Now a losing team filled with rookies, the Royals still did not turn a profit. Meanwhile, the NBA was putting pressure on Harrison to relocate his team to a larger city. With this in mind, the 1956–57 season was the Royals' last in Rochester; the Royals' stay in Rochester featured the services of nine future members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, one member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Hollywood Walk of Famer: Al Cervi, Bob Davies, Alex Hannum, Les Harrison, Red Holzman, Arnie Risen, Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, Bobby Wanzer, Otto Graham, Chuck Connors and Jack McMahon. In April 1957, the Harrison brothers moved the Royals to Cincinnati; this move followed a well-received regular season game played at Cincinnati Gardens on February 1, 1957.
The change of venue had been said to have been suggested by Jack Twyman and Dave Piontek, who were two of several roster players on the new Royals from that region. Cincinnati, which had a strong college basketball fan base and no NFL franchise to compete with, was deemed the best choice for the Harrisons; the Royals name continued to fit in Cincinnati known as the "Queen City". During the team's first NBA draft in Cincinnati, the team acquired Clyde Lovellette and guard George King, they teamed with the 1–2 punch of Maurice Stokes and Twyman to produce a budding contender in the team's first season in the Queen City. Injury to Marshall and the loss of star guard Si Green to military service dropped the team into a tie for second place in the NBA Western Division during the 1957–58 season's second half. In the season's finale, All-Pro star Maurice Stokes struck his head when he fell after pursuing a rebound, he shook off the effects of the fall as he had been unconscious. After Game One in the playoffs three days Stokes' head injury was aggravated by airplane cabin pressure during the flight back to Cincinnati for Game Two.
He suffered a seizure and was permanently hospitalized, a tragedy that shook the team. Stokes, a tremendous talent who could play center and guard, was 2nd in the NBA in rebounds and 3rd in assists, a double-feat only Wilt Chamberlain has matched for a full season. Without Stokes, the team nearly folded. Fellow All-Star Twyman rose to All-Pro level the next two seasons for Cincinnati as the team posted two 19-win seasons; the 1958–59 Cincinnati team featured five rookies, with Lovellette and other key players having left the team in the wake of Stokes' tragic injury. The Harrisons, under pressure to sell to a local group, sold to a local ownership headed by Thomas Woods; the fact that Stokes was dumped by the team and the new ownership infuriated many. Jack Twyman came to the aid of his teammate, legally adopted Stokes. Raising funds for Stokes' medical treatment, Twyman helped him until his death in April 1970; the 1973 feature film Maurie, which co-starred actors Bernie Casey and Bo Svenson, dramatized their story.
Shooting for the beleaguered team, Twyman was the second NBA player to average 30 points per game for an NBA season. Twyman and Stokes were late
Fredrick James Carter is an American former professional basketball player and coach. A 6' 3" guard from Mount St. Mary's University, Carter was selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the third round of the 1969 NBA draft, he played eight seasons in the NBA as a member of the Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, scoring 9,271 career points. Carter was the leading scorer on the 1973 Sixers team that lost an NBA record 73 of 82 regular-season games, he became the assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers before becoming the head coach of the Sixers for two seasons, from late-1992 to mid-1994. Following his tenure with the Sixers, Carter began a successful career as a basketball analyst for ESPN. During his time as co-host of "the NBA 2Night" he was known for his claim of being "the best player on the worst team in NBA history." He is an analyst on NBA TV. On December 1, 2007, Carter had his jersey, number "33", retired at halftime of the Mount St. Mary's v. Loyola men's basketball game at Coach Jim Phelan Court in Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
A crowd of over 2,000, mixed with Mount and Loyola students and Loyola alumni, Emmitsburg residents cheered the "Mad Dog" for his importance to not only the men's basketball program, but the integration of the school back in the 1960s, We were graduated in June of 1965. Carter started in September of 1965, he is known for popularizing the "fist bump." Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com
The Brooklyn Nets are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City. The Nets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Barclays Center. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the team was established in 1967 as a charter franchise of the NBA's rival league, the American Basketball Association. They played in New Jersey as the New Jersey Americans during their first season, before moving to Long Island in 1968 and changing their name to the New York Nets. During this time, the Nets won two ABA championships. In 1976, the ABA merged with the NBA, the Nets were absorbed into the NBA along with three other ABA teams. In 1977, the team returned to New Jersey and played as the New Jersey Nets from 1977 to 2012. During this time, the Nets won two consecutive Eastern Conference championships, but failed to win a league title. In the summer of 2012, the team moved to Barclays Center, took its current geographic name.
The Brooklyn Nets were founded in 1967 and played in Teaneck, New Jersey, as the New Jersey Americans. In its early years, the team led a nomadic existence, moving to Long Island in 1968 and playing in various arenas there as the New York Nets. Led by Hall of Famer Julius "Dr. J" Erving, the Nets won two ABA championships in New York before becoming one of four ABA teams to be admitted into the NBA as part of the ABA–NBA merger in 1976; the team moved back to New Jersey in 1977 and became the New Jersey Nets. During their time in that state, the Nets saw periods of losing and misfortune intermittent with several periods of success, which culminated in two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in the 2001–02 and 2002–03 seasons by teams led by point guard Jason Kidd. After playing 35 seasons in New Jersey, the team moved back to the state of New York, changed its geographic name to Brooklyn, began playing in the new Barclays Center, starting with the 2012–13 NBA season; the Boston Celtics were once rivals of the Nets during the early 2000s because of their respective locations and their burgeoning stars.
The Nets were led by Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin, while the Celtics were experiencing newfound success behind Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker. The rivalry began to heat up in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, preceded by trash-talking from the Celtics who claimed Martin was a "fake" tough guy. Things progressed as the series started, on-court tensions seemed to spill into the stands. Celtic fans berated Kidd and his family with chants of "Wife Beater!" in response to Kidd's 2001 domestic abuse charge. When the series returned to New Jersey, Nets fans responded, with some brandishing signs that read "Will someone please stab Paul Pierce?" Referring to a night club incident in 2000 in which Pierce was stabbed 11 times. When asked about the fan barbs being traded, Kenyon Martin stated, "Our fans hate them, their fans hate us." Bill Walton said at the time that Nets-Celtics was the "beginning of the next great NBA rivalry" during the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002 with the Nets advancing to the NBA Finals, though New Jersey swept Boston in the 2003 playoffs.
On November 28, 2012 there were indications that the rivalry might be rekindled when an altercation occurred on the court, resulting in the ejection of Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries. Rondo was suspended for two games in the aftermath, while Kevin Garnett were fined; the story was revisited on December 25, when Wallace grabbed Garnett's shorts and the two had to be broken up by referees and players alike. However, the rivalry between the Nets and the Celtics appeared cooled off by the June 2013 blockbuster trade that dealt Celtics stars Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets in exchange for Wallace and others; this move was billed as a merger of the two Atlantic Division teams. Celtics announcer Sean Grande said, "It's as if you found a great home for these guys. You couldn't have found a better place; these guys will be in the New York market, they'll be on a competitive team, they'll stay on national TV. It's funny. So with Celtics fans feeling the way they do about the Heat, feeling the way they do about the Knicks, the Nets are going to become the second team now."
The Knicks–Nets rivalry has been a geographical one, with the Knicks playing in Madison Square Garden in the New York City borough of Manhattan, while the Nets played in the suburban area of Long Island and in New Jersey, since 2012 have been playing at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Media outlets have noted the Knicks–Nets rivalry's similarity to those of other New York City teams, such as the Major League Baseball Subway Series rivalry between the American League's New York Yankees and the National League's New York Mets, the National Football League rivalry between the National Football Conference's New York Giants and the American Football Conference's New York Jets, the result of the boroughs' proximity through the New York City Subway; the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn competed via the Dodgers–Giants rivalry, when the two teams were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Like the Knicks and Nets, the Giants and Dodgers played in Manhattan and Brooklyn and were fierce intraleague rivals.
The rivalry between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers of the National Hockey League has taken on a similar dimension since the Islanders moved to
1970 NBA draft
The 1970 NBA draft was the 24th annual draft of the National Basketball Association. The draft was held on March 1970, before the 1970 -- 71 season. In this draft, 17 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated; the first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each division, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Detroit Pistons won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the San Diego Rockets were awarded the second pick; the remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Three expansion franchises, the Buffalo Braves, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers, took part in the NBA Draft for the first time and were assigned the seventh, the eighth and the ninth pick in each round.
In the first round, the Cavaliers had the seventh pick, while the Blazers and the Braves had the eighth and the ninth pick respectively. In the subsequent rounds, the Cavaliers and the Braves exchanged their order of selection, while the Blazers had the eighth pick throughout the draft; the draft consisted of 19 rounds comprising the selection of 239 players. Bob Lanier from St. Bonaventure University was selected first overall by the Detroit Pistons. Rudy Tomjanovich from the University of Michigan and Pete Maravich from Louisiana State University were selected second and third respectively. Fourth pick Dave Cowens from Florida State University and eighth pick Geoff Petrie from Princeton University went on to be named as joint winners of the Rookie of the Year Award in their first season. Six players from this draft, Maravich, Cowens, 18th pick Calvin Murphy, 19th pick Nate Archibald and 122nd pick Dan Issel, have been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Maravich and Archibald were named to the list of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History announced at the league's 50th anniversary in 1996.
Maravich had five All-Star Game selections. Cowens won two NBA championships with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976, one Most Valuable Player Award in 1973, had three All-NBA Team selections and seven All-Star Game selections. Archibald won one NBA championship with the Celtics in 1981 and had five All-NBA Team selections and six All-Star Game selections. Lanier and Murphy were selected to one All-Star Games respectively. Dan Issel opted to play in the American Basketball Association with the Kentucky Colonels, he played six seasons in the ABA before joining the NBA with the Denver Nuggets when both leagues merged. He was selected to five All-ABA Teams, six ABA All-Star Games and one NBA All-Star Game. Randy Smith, selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 205th pick, did not enter the league until the 1971–72 season, after he was drafted again in the 1971 Draft by the Buffalo Braves with the 104th pick, he was selected to both the All-Star Game. Tomjanovich was selected to five All-Star Games during his career.
Charlie Scott, the 106th pick opted to play in the ABA with the Virginia Squires before joining the NBA in 1972. He was selected to two All-ABA Teams, two ABA All-Star Games and three NBA All-Star Games. Three other players from this draft, fifth pick Sam Lacey, seventh pick John Johnson and eighth pick Geoff Petrie, was selected to at least one All-Star Game; the Rockets' first and second round picks and Murphy spent all of their playing career with the Rockets. Tomjanovich played 11 seasons. Lanier, Tomjanovich and Issel all became head coaches after ending their playing career. Lanier was the interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors in the 1995. Tomjanovich coached the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers, he coached the Rockets for 12 seasons, leading them to the NBA championship twice in 1994 and 1995. He coached the United States national basketball team to a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games. Cowens started his coaching career as a player-coach with the Celtics during the 1978–79 season, before returning to a full-time player in the next season.
He coached two more NBA teams, most with the Golden State Warriors. Issel coached the Denver Nuggets for six seasons in two separate three-year stints. Two other players drafted went on to have coaching careers in the NBA: 40th pick Gar Heard and 125th pick George Irvine; the 1970 draft class is considered to be one of the best in NBA history as it produced six Hall of Famers and twelve All-Stars from those draftees who played in the NBA. Three of the first four picks were inducted to the Hall of Fame and seven of the first eight picks became All-Stars; the 1970 Draft is known as the first draft where international players who had never played U. S. high school and college basketball were selected. In the 10th and 11th round, the Atlanta Hawks drafted Italian Dino Meneghin, they became the first two international players drafted to the NBA. However, neither of them played in the league as the Hawks did not have US$35,000 to buy out either of their contracts with their teams. Meneghin, who played 28 seasons in Italy, has been inducted by the International Basketball Federation to the FIBA Hall of Fame and to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Raga has been inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. The f
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers, he won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.
He led the league in regular-season assists four times, is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that travelled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team", he was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and motivational speaker.
His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014. Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, the son of General Motors assembly worker Earvin Sr. and school janitor Christine. Johnson, who had six siblings, was influenced by his parents' strong work ethic, his mother spent many hours after work each night cleaning their home and preparing the next day's meals, while his father did janitorial work at a used car lot and collected garbage, all while never missing a day at General Motors. Johnson would help his father on the garbage route, he was teased by neighborhood children who called him "Garbage Man".
Johnson came to love basketball as a youngster. His favorite basketball player was Bill Russell, whom he admired more for his many championships than his athletic ability, he idolized players such as Earl Monroe and Marques Haynes, practiced "all day". Johnson came from an athletic family, his father played high school basketball in his home state of Mississippi, Johnson learned the finer points about the game from him. Johnson's mother from North Carolina, had played basketball as a child, she grew up watching her brothers play the game. By the time he had reached the eighth grade, Johnson had begun to think about a future in basketball, he had become a dominant junior high player. Johnson looked forward to playing at Sexton High School, a school with a successful basketball team and history that happened to be only five blocks from his home, his plans underwent a dramatic change when he learned that he would be bused to the predominately white Everett High School instead of going to Sexton, predominately black.
Johnson's sister Pearl and his brother Larry had bused to Everett the previous year and did not have a pleasant experience. There were incidents of racism, with rocks being thrown at buses carrying black students and white parents refusing to send their children to school. Larry was kicked off the basketball team after a confrontation during practice, prompting him to beg his brother not to play. Johnson did join the basketball team but became angry after several days when his new teammates ignored him during practice, not passing the ball to him, he nearly got into a fight with another player. Johnson accepted his situation and the small group of black students looked to him as their leader; when recalling the events in his autobiography, My Life, he talked about how his time at Everett had changed him: Johnson was first dubbed "Magic" as a 15-year-old sophomore playing for Everett High School, when he recorded a triple-double of 36 points, 18 rebounds, 16 assists. After the game, Fred Stabley Jr. a sports writer for the Lansing State Journal, gave him the moniker despite the belief of Johnson's mother, a Christian, that the name was sacrilegious.
In his final high school season, Johnson led Everett to a 27–1 win–loss record while averaging 28.8 points and 16.8 rebounds per game, took his team to an overtime victory in the state championship game. Johnson dedicated the championship victory to his best friend Reggie Chastine, killed in a car accident the p
50 Greatest Players in NBA History
The 50 Greatest Players in National Basketball Association History were chosen in 1996 to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the National Basketball Association. These fifty players were selected through a vote by a panel of media members, former players and coaches, current and former general managers. In addition, the top ten head coaches and top ten single-season teams in NBA history were selected by media members as part of the celebration; the fifty players had to have played at least a portion of their careers in the NBA and were selected irrespective of position played. The list was announced by NBA commissioner David Stern on October 29, 1996, at the hotel Grand Hyatt New York, the former site of the Commodore Hotel, where the original NBA charter was signed on June 6, 1946; the announcement marked the beginning of a season-long celebration of the league's anniversary. Forty-seven of the fifty players were assembled in Cleveland, during the halftime ceremony of the 1997 All-Star Game.
Three players were absent: Pete Maravich, who had died in 1988, at forty. At the time of the announcement, eleven players were active. O'Neal was the last to be active in the NBA; the list was made through unranked voting completed by fifty selected panelists. Sixteen of the panelists were former players voting in their roles as players, thirteen were members of the print and broadcast news media, twenty-one were team representatives: contemporary and former general managers, head coaches, executives. Of the last group, thirteen were former NBA players. Players were prohibited from voting for themselves. Only three voting veterans were not selected to the team. Eleven players were active in the 1996 -- 97 season. All have since retired. O'Neal was the last to be active in the NBA. All of the selected players have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Lenny Wilkens was the only member of the players list to have been selected as a member of the coaches list. At the time of the list, only Pete Maravich was deceased.
Since Wilt Chamberlain, Dave DeBusschere, Paul Arizin, Hal Greer, George Mikan, Bill Sharman, Moses Malone, Dolph Schayes and Nate Thurmond have all died. Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2010–11 season, the last in which any player on the 50 Greatest list was active. Alongside the selection of the 50 greatest players, was the selection of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History; the list was compiled based upon unranked selection undertaken by members of the print and broadcast media who cover the NBA. All 10 coaches named were alive at the time of the list's announcement, four of them—Phil Jackson, Don Nelson, Pat Riley, Lenny Wilkens—were active. Five have since died: Red Holzman in 1998, Red Auerbach in 2006, Chuck Daly in 2009, Jack Ramsay in 2014, John Kundla in 2017. Jackson was the last of the ten to coach in the NBA. Nelson was the only member to have never won a championship as a coach though he won five as a player. Wilkens was the only member of the coaches list to have been selected as a member of the players list.
All ten coaches are members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Included in the NBA's 50th-anniversary celebration was the selection of the Top 10 Teams in NBA History; the list was compiled based upon unranked selection undertaken by members of the print and broadcast media who cover the NBA. Teams were chosen from among all single-season individual teams; each team won the NBA championship, they combined to average 66 wins per season. The 1995–96 Chicago Bulls had, at the moment, the best single-season record in NBA history with 72 wins. Six out of the thirty NBA franchises had a team named to the list. Six players were on the roster of two teams on the list—Wilt Chamberlain with the 1966–67 Sixers and 1971–72 Lakers. Three other individuals both played for and coached honored teams, all of whom completed this "double" with a single franchise—K. C. Jones with the Celtics as a player in 1964–65 and coach in 1985–86, Billy Cunningham with the Sixers as a player in 1966–67 and coach in 1982–83, Pat Riley with the Lakers as a player in 1971–72 and coach in 1986–87.
Phil Jackson, head coach of the Bulls from 1989 to 1998, was the only man to coach two teams that made the list. Although Jackson was under contract to the Knicks as a player in their 1969–70 championship season, he did not play that season as he was recovering from spinal fusion surgery. Players whose names are italicized were inducted after the announcement of the ten best teams; the Hall of Famers listed for each individual team are those inducted as players, do not include those inducted in other roles. ABA All-Time Team General Specific NBA.com: The 50 Greatest Players page NBA.com: Top 10 Coaches page NBA.com: Top 10 Teams page
Oscar Palmer Robertson, nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. The 6 ft 5 in, 205 lb Robertson played point guard and was a 12-time All-Star, 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, one-time winner of the MVP award in 14 professional seasons. In 1962, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. In the 1970–71 NBA season, he was a key player on the team that brought the Bucks their only NBA title, his playing career during high school and college, was plagued by racism. Robertson is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted in 1980 for his individual career, in 2010 as a member of the 1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team and president of the National Basketball Players Association, he was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. The United States Basketball Writers Association renamed their College Player of the Year Award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in his honor in 1998, he was one of five people chosen to represent the inaugural National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2006.
He was ranked as the 36th best American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN. Robertson was an integral part of Robertson v. National Basketball Ass'n of 1970; the landmark NBA antitrust suit, named after the then-president of the NBA Players' Association, led to an extensive reform of the league's strict free agency and draft rules and, subsequently, to higher salaries for all players. Robertson was born in poverty in Charlotte and grew up in a segregated housing project in Indianapolis. In contrast to many other boys who preferred to play baseball, he was drawn to basketball because it was "a poor kids' game"; because his family could not afford to buy a basketball, he learned how to shoot by tossing tennis balls and rags bound with rubber bands into a peach basket behind his family's home. Robertson attended an all-black high school. At Crispus Attucks, Robertson was coached by Ray Crowe, whose emphasis on a fundamentally sound game had a positive effect on Robertson's style of play; as a sophomore in 1954, he starred on an Attucks team that lost in the semi-state finals to eventual state champions Milan, whose story would be the basis of the classic 1986 movie Hoosiers.
When Robertson was a junior, Crispus Attucks dominated its opposition, going 31–1 and winning the 1955 state championship, the first for any all-black school in the nation. The following year the team finished with a perfect 31–0 record and won a second straight Indiana state title, becoming the first team in Indiana to secure a perfect season and compiling a state-record 45 straight victories; the state championships were the first by an Indianapolis team in the Hoosier tourney. After their championship game wins, the team was paraded through town in a regular tradition, but they were taken to a park outside downtown to continue their celebration, unlike other teams. Robertson stated, " thought the blacks were going to tear the town up, they thought the whites wouldn't like it." Robertson scored 24.0 points per game in his senior season and was named Indiana "Mr. Basketball" in 1956. After his graduation that year, Robertson enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. Robertson continued to excel while at the University of Cincinnati, recording an incredible scoring average of 33.8 points per game, the third highest in college history.
In each of his three years, he won the national scoring title, was named an All-American, was chosen College Player of the Year, while setting 14 NCAA and 19 school records. Robertson's stellar play led the Bearcats to a 79–9 overall record during his three varsity seasons, including two Final Four appearances. However, a championship eluded Robertson, something that would become a repeated occurrence until late in his professional career; when Robertson left college he was the all-time leading NCAA scorer until fellow Hall of Fame player Pete Maravich topped him in 1970. Robertson took Cincinnati to national prominence during his time there, but the university's greatest success in basketball took place after his departure, when the team won national titles in 1961, 1962, just missed a third title in 1963, he continues to stand atop the Bearcats' record book. The many records he still holds include: points in one game, 62. Robertson had many outstanding individual game performances, including 10 triple-doubles.
His personal best might have been his line of 45 points, 23 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Indiana State in 1959. Despite his success on the court, Robertson's college career was soured by racism. In those days, southern university programs such as those of Kentucky and North Carolina did not recruit black athletes, road trips to segregated cities were difficult, with Robertson sleeping in college dorms instead of hotels. "I'll never forgive them", he told The Indianapolis Star years later. Decades after his college days, Robertson's stellar NCAA career was rewarded by the United States Basketball Writers Association when, in 1998, they renamed the trophy awarded to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year the Oscar Robertson Trophy; this honor brought the award full circle for Robertson since he had won the first two awards presented. After college and Jerry West co-captained the U. S. basketball team at the 1960 Summer Olympics. The team, described as the greatest assemblage of amateur basketball talent steamrollered the competition to