He got the ball and he drove, and I cut the wrong way. Man, he yelled at me! He said, "Listen, you got to do it this way!"
•What'd you do?
What'd I do? I listened, man, that's what I did! When Oscar Robertson talks, you listen! And it helped me. The next time he drove, I cut the right way, and he got the ball to me and I scored. And I said to myself, "Well, well! You've just met Oscar Robertson, and already he's taught you something!" So I've got to like him. Another good thing about Oscar: he wants that championship! Me, I've got some time, but Oscar wants it right now. Right this year! And he's got us all feeling that way.
•What does Oscar do for you, and you for Oscar?
The main thing we've done is change our attitudes. Oscar knows he doesn't have to do it all, and vice versa—I know I don't have to do it all. I know that Oscar's gonna be consistently proficient in bringing the ball up and setting up plays and making the outside shots. I know I'm gonna get him the ball, and he knows that I'm gonna put the ball in the hoop when he gets it to me.
•Last year you were a lot less relaxed, you were a little grouchy and truculent yourself. I'm not so sure you and Oscar would have worked last year.
Oh, yes, we would! Oscar respects people that can perform. Sometimes I think that's all Oscar respects. If you don't put out, you lose Oscar's respect fast.
•He must put the fear of God into you out there.
He does! He curses guys out right on the floor! For not putting out. For acting flaky. He tells 'em. And that's good. Because a team has to have somebody like that. I won't do it, myself. I'm a little too humanitarian. But Oscar doesn't have that problem.