In his first meeting with Cousy, Robertson demonstrated that he is every bit as good a pro as his college career gave promise he would be. This does not mean, however, that Cincinnati is ready to challenge Boston for the championship of the NBA. Cousy is still the better player, still runs his team with a surer hand. As he did in college, Oscar loses his temper easily, reacts to adverse calls by officials with childish petulance. But he has the eye of a squirrel hunter, the sleight-of-hand dexterity of a magician, the speed of a sprinter. The question is not whether he can make it among the pros. It is, rather—how big can he make it? Unquestionably, he has the ability, if not the temperament, to be "the next Cousy."
When the game was over, Oscar Robertson was a tired young man. His left ankle, which he had sprained a week earlier, bothered him, and the teen-agers clamoring outside the locker-room door also bothered him. Cousy sat on a bench in the Celtics' dressing room, physically exhausted and near tears.
Bill Sharman, who played a fine game for Boston and split the guarding assignment on Robertson, perhaps summed up Oscar best. "I had never seen him play before," said Sharman. "He has three or four fakes all in the same move. He's bigger than most men you usually have to guard in the backcourt. He is a big man with the moves of a really tremendous little man, and he is always ready to whip off a pass that will lead to a basket if a teammate gets free."
For the rest of the season and for years to come, people will be comparing Robertson and Cousy, much as the new music is compared to the old. After their first meeting, there was still one clear difference between the two. Twenty minutes after Robertson had pushed his way through a group of imploring youngsters on the way back to his hotel, Bob Cousy stood in the light drizzle that was falling on the midnight streets of Boston and signed autographs.