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You often hear - generally derisively - when someone scores a "triple-double" (10+ points, rebounds, and assists) in the NBA these days, an old-timer (like me!) say, "Big deal. Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double for an *entire season*!" Well, that's true, he did, in the 1961-1962 season, but while looking at his statistics, I noticed something else: he averaged a triple-double for his first FIVE seasons. All it took was a little simple arithmetic - click here and you can see for yourself. And, he came a gnat's eyelash away from averaging a triple-double for his first SIX seasons (after his sixth season, his rebounds per game average went down to 9.95+ ... if he had gotten just 4 more rebounds per season, he would have done it for six years). All this, *and* he averaged over 30 points per game during those seasons - his first six in the NBA! That's unbelievable. "The Big O" has got to be on the short list of greatest basketball players ever, with serious consideration as *the best* guard in history. People talk about how tall Magic was, but Robertson was 6'5" fully fifty-five years ago and playing point guard! "Kareem Says Oscar Robertson Better Than Jordan Or LeBron" by Kurt Helin on nba.nbcsports.com Google "How good was Oscar Robertson?" There's a lot of interesting reading. You know, even I've gotten sucked into thinking "Jordan's the greatest ever," but you can't say that if you didn't see Robertson, Chamberlain, Russell, Baylor, and Abdul-Jabbar in their primes. You just can't!
Alas, they bring us little box lunches at the Speedway. Still, I managed to enjoy one good evening of dining, thanks to a 6-month-old Korean restaurant in the suburb of Fishers, called DaMi (10989 Allisonville Rd). Starting off with a dozen or so assorted tiny plates of pickled vegetables, preserved fish and condiments, two of our party went for a variation on bibimbab, while I dived into a plate of spicy squid with vegetables. Our server felt the need to warn me twice that it was "very spicy", but I think they still toned it down a bit as I found it to be only barely "very" hot. My Korean-American host did the ordering honors so unfortunately I can't pass on the dish names, but everything had that...well, authentic Asian taste. Apparently his fresh-off-the-boat cousin agrees, and has been hitting DaMi with alarming frequency when he needs a taste of home. We skipped dessert in order to hit the local branch of Handel's ice cream. The flavors are very midwestern...by which I mean that the chocolate almond (which was delicious) is more Hershey's than Valrhona. I might have preferred if it were frozen harder and a bit grainier, but it was a very tasty treat.
I don't recall seeing McGinnis in the ABA. Clearly he was a superstar. And he was a physical stud. Very well built, sort of a Lebron or a Karl Malone type--much thicker and stronger than other players on the court. But when he got to Philadelphia and later teamed with Dr J, something was off. They didn't mesh well and Dr J was better. In fact they had a lot of similar basketball attributes, even as they were so physically different. They didn't team well and they didn't complement one another. Overall in that '77 NBA championship he was outplayed by Maurice Lucas who covered McGinnis. Philly traded him and he simply wasn't dominating as he did in the ABA, and I recall him sort of like a ball hog... His skills and achievements diminished in the NBA. I suspect it was age. McGinnis would clearly have great highlights as he was a physical stud...and it wasn't that the NBA was that much (or even marginally better) but his skills diminished and/or he simply team well. OTOH I bet he is a big basketball hero in Indianapolis. Its where his earlier career flourished.