Oscar Robertson was asked a question all of us have been asked as basketball fans, and his answer seemed to leave out one player.
‘The Big O’ was the original Mr. Triple Double before Westbrook took his crown, owning both the single season record for triple doubles and all time record for triple doubles. Westbrook is now first in both, but Robertson paved the way for him to get there.
Robertson finished his career with one title, played in 12 consecutive All Star games, made the All NBA First Team nine straight times, and he won the NBA MVP in the 1963-64 season.
🗓 This Day in Stats, 1960: Oscar Robertson becomes the only player with a triple-double in his first game, posting 21p/10a/12r in his debut. pic.twitter.com/XLcO1qc9M4
— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 19, 2017
Robertson recently appeared on the ‘Q and D Knuckleheads’ podcast, and when he was asked about his top five favorite NBA players, he seemed to snub someone who most people will include.
Oscar Robertson Snubs LeBron James From His Top 5 Favorite NBA Players
We’ve all thought about it at one point or the other. Who are our top five favorite NBA players? Keep in mind this is asking about your favorite players in the league not the best or greatest five of all time.
Robertson quickly listed out his top five: Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor, Steph Curry, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain. You can watch the clip here at about the 1:01:31 mark in the video:
Jerry West and Elgin Baylor obviously make the list as Robertson went against the Lakers duo several times during his NBA career. They would meet in the playoffs thrice during Robertson and West’s careers with Baylor having retired before the third meeting.
In the 1970-71 season, Robertson, Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and the Bucks would gentleman sweep the Lakers en-route to their first NBA title. The next year, Baylor and West would have their revenge winning in six games, but Robertson took the third series in the 1973-74 season, winning 4-1.
Having played against them for all those years, it makes sense that Robertson would have them. Same thing with Wilt. Jordan is the NBA GOAT, and so there’s no questions there, and Curry is perhaps the most exciting player to watch currently. However, Robertson did notably leave out LeBron James, widely considered the second best player of all time.
Robertson would acknowledge his mistake later in the video at 1:02:54, but the fact that he listed those five players out immediately does indicate that LeBron may have been more of an afterthought, someone who could crack the top five for Robertson but isn’t actually in it.
It’s also interesting how out of the one modern day player in his initial five, Robertson chose Curry over LeBron. Of course, this is just a list of his ‘favorite’ five players and so a lot of thought shouldn’t be put into it. The fact that Robertson remembered James after and praised also shows he definitely respects the Lakers’ star’s game.