In looking at photos of great NBA stars of the past, I was amazed at some of the numbers put up by one Oscar Robertson, “the Big O”.
The Triple Double is kind of an elusive stat, given that it can be made up of any three of the five primary offensive statistics in basketball. But however you define it, there’s no question who owns the title as the greatest Triple Double machine ever: Oscar Robertson. And if you need proof, there’s this crazy record which will never be equaled, let alone broken: in 1961-62, The Big O actually averaged a Triple Double for the entire season. His stats that year: 30.8 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and 11.4 assists per game. Naturally, he also holds the career mark for Triple Doubles, with 181. We won’t see that again.
There would be a very good discussion about who was the greatest running back of all time in the NFL. There would be some names mentioned in that discussion; Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson, just to name a few and each could be considered as the greatest. However, in my humble opinion, that title is reserved for one man…..Jim Brown.
Jim Brown dominated everybody. Over the course of his nine seasons, Brown ran over, through, and around people for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns on the ground. At 29, he shocked the world and retired from the game of football in his prime. Brown simply had nothing else left to prove, having already qualified as the record holder of every significant rushing mark in the books.
Although Brown has since been surpassed by Emmitt Smith and Payton in the record books, neither back can touch his remarkable 5.2-yard-per-carry average. As the perfect complement of size and speed, Brown put up video-game-like numbers in the era of the phonograph and turntable. With the exception of 1962, Brown led the NFL in rushing every year between ’57 and ’65. In 1963, he torched defenses for 1,863 rushing yards on only 291 carries, which translates into a 6.4-yard-per-carry average. I would go further and say that he would be just as dominating a player in today’s game as he was then.
The term “five-tool player” is used in baseball terminology to describe a player with phenomenal skills. One who can hit for power, hit for average, field, throw and have speed. Some who come to mind in my lifetime are Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey Jr. just to name a few.
Upton strengthens an already potent lineup for the Tigers and solidifies the left field position in the outfield. What will tell the tale for Detroit this summer will be how well the pitching staff performs (both starting pitching and the bullpen). With spring training starting next month, there is optimism in Detroit that the Tigers will make the postseason playoffs.
As I was reading an article about the NBA, my thoughts went to a player that we may never see the likes of again. That player in Wilt Chamberlain, sometimes commonly referred to as “The Dipper”. Chamberlain stood 7 feet 1 inch and weighed anywhere between 275 and 285 pounds for most of his career and presented an imposing presence on the court that had never been seen during that time period. Chamberlain’s career is loaded with numerous league records in scoring and rebounding. He is the only player ever to score 100 points in a single game and score over 4,000 points and collect 2,000 rebounds in a single season. The year he scored the 100 points in a game, he averaged 50.4 points per game. He also had an interesting statistic in the fact that in his 14 seasons in the NBA, he never fouled out of game; neither regular season or playoff. I believe with his skills, he would be a dominating player at the center position in todays’ game.