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Oscar Robertson tells Dwight Howard to “keep mouth shut”

Feb 23, 2012, 2:59 PM EST

Dwight Howard AP

What LeBron James did, what Carmelo Anthony did, what Dwight Howard is doing — that does not sit well with an older generation of players.

Say, for example Oscar Robertson. Mr. I averaged a triple-double for an entire season. One of the game’s 50 greatest players (easily).

Robertson — one of the trail blazers of NBA free agency — was on the radio in Orlando talking about the Dwight Howard situation with Mike Bianchi, who also writes for the Orlando Sentinel and transcribed what the Big O told him.

“Keep your mouth shut and play basketball,” said Robertson, who was a guest on our radio show Wednesday and will be in town during All-Star Weekend to raise awareness for prostate cancer. ”If he wants to be traded, he’s going to be traded. Go and talk to the owners and say, ‘I want to be traded’ and keep it a secret.’ In a situation like this, he can’t win. … Anytime they (Magic) stumble and fall and every time they get beat, they’re going to blame Dwight Howard and it’s totally unfair because it’s not all his fault. I don’t think management has done a great job in keeping certain players on the team. They had a nucleus of players that got them to the Finals and then, all of the sudden, it’s gone downhill.”

Robertson is right, everyone is culpable here. The Magic front office put themselves in this position due to poor personnel moves. Howard could have been quiet about this.

But the fact remains this is no-win for Howard. Whatever choice he makes now, wherever he plays next season, he will alienate some people. He can’t be liked by everyone anymore.

But Robertson’s advice is good for the next star whose contract comes up and wants to keep his options open — “Keep your mouth shut and play basketball.”

  1. tomshoe - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Howard could have been “quitter”?

    Come on Kurt, spell check.

    • limonadamas - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Technically, “quitter” is a real word and wouldn’t come up as abnormal on spell check. Whatever…

  2. caeser12 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    The only person Everybody Loves is Raymond.

    I have no problem with what Mr. Robertson said. But I’m sure many who have never heard of him will, so before you call him some old “geezer” who knows nothing, check his stats, then be quiet and nod your head up and down.

  3. makeham98 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Oscar might be one of the most underappreciated talents by today’s players.

    Did he say “wow wee” during the interview?

  4. dirtydavis - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    No credit for Roberstson… He played in era before the merger.

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Robertson is crushed by your lack of credit.

      Idiot

    • iambadkid2 - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      What the hell are you talking about?

      Only four ABA teams (Nets, Nuggets, Pacers, Spurs) were absolved by the NBA — it wasn’t some major turning point. In 1988-89, the league added four expansion teams (Heat, Hornets, Magic, Timberwolves) — should Bird and Magic be discounted because they played the majority of their careers before this benchmark?

      Firstly, 1976 shouldn’t be mentioned so often as some beginning to the modern NBA.

      Secondly, it’s apparent that you know at best nearly nothing at all about the history of the league — this puts you close to last on the list of anyone who should say anything at all about the great Oscar Robertson.

      Lastly, here’s an amazing picture of the Big O in his time at the University of Cincinnati: http://stevelundeberg.mvourtown.com/files/2010/02/oscar-robertson-cincinnati.jpg.

      I Am Bad Kid

    • dacapt704 - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      no credit for you because u OBVIOUSLY don’t know squat about basketball…SMH…kids

      • dirtydavis - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        @ All the clowns who replied back

        The Big O and the rest of the old school players before the merger/late 70s deserves an asterisk why next to their name. You girls really need to learn your history before commenting with such stupidity… it’s speaks high volumes of your ignorance. Why give so much credit for a player when he was a big fish an a small pond ( 8 teams in a league SMH). Look it up kids. At the time there was more whites than blacks…

      • somekat - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        dumbest comment I’ve seen in months

        a league with only 8 teams, automatically, has higher skilled players on a nightly basis. If you elminated 3/4 of the teams, you elminate the bottom 3/4 players. Guys who are playing 35 minutes a night would be 11-12 man on the bench. More teams = more players = less skilled players in the league

  5. jolink653 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    how is what lebron did and what carmelo did the same thing? carmelo did the nuggets a favor and allowed them to get the most out of the trade and it kept them in good shape this year…the cavs went into the tank after lebron bailed on them

  6. granadafan - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Why did you leave out the word “your” in the headline? When you wrote, “keep mouth shut”, it just sounds like an awkward ebonics moment.

    • bigmeechy74 - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Because he quoted him and that is what he said you moron

  7. birdsflynorth206 - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    @dirtydavis
    no credit for the only person to ever average a triple double for a full season, yea you must not know basketball

    • somekat - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Wilt did it before him, and said he was going to do it before the season

      But the big O was the man, just not the only, or first, to average a triple double (Wilt would of had a quadruple double if they counted blocks at the time)

  8. deadeyedesign23 - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    How did the whole thing about a trade request get leaked to begin with? Wasn’t it a leak in management, not with Howard going to the media?

    • goforthanddie - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      I seriously doubt Orlando management wanted news of Howard’s leaving to become public before it happened. Bad for business you know.

  9. jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    The “Big O” could dominate like only a few players in the history of the game have. Think Larry Bird or Michael Jordan. Think legend!

  10. mulletcork - Feb 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Why doesn’t this old timer shut up and go play bridge

  11. waldoampere - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Oscar Robertson as one of the 50 greatest players? No, I’m sorry, he’s one of the 12 greatest. If there’s an all-time basketball team, he’s on it.

  12. jckid21 - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I watched The Big O play and he would dominate in today’s game. As a matter of fact he would dominate in any era. He was that good. It is a shame he wasn’t born a little later because him going up against Jordan would have been worth the price of admission.

    • waldoampere - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      Agreed. He was 6-5 and had a great build. He easily could’ve played today and would’ve dominated. He was a great basketball player.

  13. somekat - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Why do we always get the “Mr Triple Double” for the big O? First of all, Wilt did it first. Wilt said he was going to do it before the season started, and the only reason it wasn’t a quadruble double, is because they didn’t track blocks back then.

    Big O is an all time great, but Wilt, as in so many other aspects of the game, is the greatest triple double machine of all time, and nobody holds a candle to him (just like he’s the greatest player ever, hands down. Sorry MJ)

    • somekat - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      I stand corrected. Wilt did not average the triple double. But he did lead the league in assists, while putting up 30PPG and 23 RPG

  14. steckymon - Feb 26, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    The big O no doubt was a great player & I was fortunate to catch the tail end of his career. Maybe he was different as a young player but my lasting memory of him was he was the biggest crybaby to ever play the game. I find it ironic that he tells Dwight to shut-up & just play ball when he was always sounding off about something when he played.

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