Collision Course

Collision Course
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  • Item #: 9781620062104

The Basketball Lives of Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson and The Fall of the Cincinnati Royals

Following the 1956-57 NBA season the Fort Wayne Pistons relocated to Detroit and the Rochester Royals were moved to Cincinnati. The relocations of the Fort Wayne and Rochester franchises left Syracuse as the last small market team in the NBA.

As the 1960s began the NBA entered the crossroads of its existence featuring such mega stars as Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Hal Greer, the Boston Celtics became the most dominating team in the league. Led by Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and John Havlicek, the Celtics would win eleven NBA championships between 1957 and 1969. But during the 1960s the Cincinnati Royals were a team also loaded with All-Stars and former Olympic players like Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Wayne Embry, and Adrian Smith. But the Royals would never win a championship in Cincinnati and in 1973 relocated to Kansas City. Today the franchise is the Sacramento Kings.

So what went wrong in Cincy? While the Royals received only marginal support from their fans and absentee owner Louie Jacobs, the Buffalo concessionaire king and Godfather of sports, the answer to the downfall of the Royals seems to lie somewhere in the basketball stories of Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson whose brilliant careers collided in an unharmonious relationship when the retired Cousy became coach of the Royals.

While Bob Cousy had been credited for saving professional basketball in Boston as a player, he is also credited with destroying professional basketball in Cincinnati as a coach. The uneasy relationship in Cincinnati between Cousy the coach and Robertson the player fueled by leftover competitive conflict from their days as players on the hardwood would become a collision of will between them and render the Royals franchise dysfunctional.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WILLIAM A. COOK is the author of numerous books including twelve on baseball history and two on true crime, and has appeared in productions on ESPN2 and the MLB Network. A former healthcare administrator and township councilman in North Brunswick, New Jersey, he lives in Manalapan, New Jersey.

by William A Cook
SUNBURY PRESS
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x 1
9781620062104
262 Pages
SPORTS & RECREATION / Basketball
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports
SPORTS & RECREATION / History
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