NBA–Robertson & Curry: Many Forms of Greatness


“A view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter” is one of Webster’s definitions of opinion.  As for opinions themselves…everyone certainly is entitled to their own.  In turn, we can either agree, disagree or agree to disagree.  Upon hearing basketball great Oscar Robertson’s recent comments on the Warriors and Steph Curry in particular, I’m going to lean on the latter…and agree to disagree. 

More often than not, I’m disappointed when folks from a previous era use their platform of greatness to downplay another’s greatness.  Big O was no exception. It is very similar to the way in which…if a NFL team’s record sorta kinda maybe possibly looks as though it will fall in the undefeated column—the 1972 Dolphins start assembling themselves to remind us all of their unrivaled greatness. The thing is….since when did it become law that there was only one form of greatness?

I have the utmost respect for Mr. Robertson…as a man, my elder, and his plethora of contributions to the game.  Make no mistake about it though….his well warranted Hall of Fame credentials do not mitigate my eye test. 

For the most part I get it.  Sports news is no different than any other news cycle….it is in constant rotation—24 hours of the day.  As such, the industry needs to have something…anything…to talk about at all times.  If they aren’t talking and/or writing…they are not working.  In that regard, it makes perfect sense that as the Warriors dominant the league, stories surrounding the team itself will dominant the headlines.  Ahh the evolution of broadcasting.  To that point…basketball has evolved significantly as well:

·         While the game never fully gets away from its “Big Man” focus….the importance of other roles do manage to get in the conversation…

·         Every line of apparel seems to outdo the previous line of apparel….as much as I like donning my Chuck Taylors, the chance of today’s players alley-ooping in them, are non-existent…

·         And with a collective sigh of relief the uniforms have evolved—the short shorts should have never ever been a part of basketball, period….

·         Thanks to the global reach and appeal of the game, an influx of European players has led to a few more consonants on the backs of NBA jerseys…..

·         Prior to 1979 there was nothing to gain from shooting just past mid-court a la Steph…it still only translated to two more points on the scoreboard

Simply put, there’s enough room for different types of greatness.  We can try to dress the act of diminishing another person’s shine as guys being guys.  In truth, it is no less catty than a model denouncing any type of beauty outside of her definition.  Wait, we just had that experience.  Wasn’t right when discussing body type, not right when discussing another’s contribution to the game. 

Makes me wonder how sports fan would react if a defensive standout of today were to mention the many ways he would have stopped Oscar Robertson to the point there would have been no need for the nickname Big O!….  

On a lighter note, I can state as fact Steph Curry’s greatness has impacted my approach on casual wastebasket deposits.  In recent weeks, I’ve felt as though a mere toss from across the room isn’t sufficient….a step or two back into the hallway, with my son’s arms outstretched to block—well that’s 3 point worthy!!

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