The last time Oscar Robertson put on an NBA uniform was the Milwaukee Bucks' Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the 1974 NBA Finals.

It took 47 years, but the Bucks are again competing for the NBA title and Robertson, 82, is enjoying the ride.

“I’m sure the city’s happy about it and I’m happy for the city," Robertson said this
week. "It’s not a guaranteed thing, getting to the Finals. Therefore when you get there, you should try to make the best of it."

The Bucks traded for Robertson, already an established hoops legend, before the 1970-71 season. He blended seamlessly with young star Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul- Jabbar), and they led the Bucks to their lone title in their first season together.

Robertson played the final four seasons of his career in Milwaukee, retiring after nagging injuries over the final couple years.

The consummate point guard also spent 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Royals, so Robertson is loving that two often-overlooked cities are battling for NBA supremacy.

“It’s a good match," he said of the Bucks facing the Phoenix Suns. "The thing about the small markets years ago, all the big markets would go out and somehow get the top players for their own teams, at the expense of small markets.

"But I’m glad Milwaukee’s got the Greek (Giannis Antetokounmpo). I’m glad they have the players they have. They made some good trades, and so did Phoenix. Phoenix has done the

same thing.”

Before the season, the Bucks gave up a treasure chest of assets to trade for Jrue Holiday. Now that the new point guard has helped get the Bucks back to the Finals, it's hard to not draw parallels to the fateful acquisition of Robertson 50 years ago.

“This is the first time I've been in this position,” Holiday said this week in Phoenix. “Just, man, I've been so blessed over the last couple years, whatever's been going on, to be able to land in a spot like this to fulfill my dream. God's blessed me and put me in a position just to go to the Finals.”

Related: The Bucks need to assist their own point guard. Time is running out on how to do it.

Related: Yet again, the Milwaukee Bucks must topple the math that says their NBA title hopes are slim

Holiday's calm demeanor is reminiscent of Robertson's stoic playing style. Neither player seemed burdened by being considered the missing piece of a championship puzzle.

“You got to play basketball," Robertson said. "You can’t worry about pressure or what happened in the past or how you got there or anything like that. He’s got to go out there and keep the team together. And get the offense together. Get the ball moving. Get the ball up the court when the opportunity presents itself. That’s what he has to do.”

While Robertson is happy for the Bucks, he's still watching the Finals with a critical eye.

“Holiday has a very good game," he said. "I just hope they overcome that high pick. With the center going against the guard. Where the big guy switches on the guard and it’s a true mismatch, to be honest. But he’s going to learn. I think everybody’s going to learn. They got beat the first game, but Phoenix is playing great basketball.”

Robertson hopes he can make it back to Milwaukee for a game during these Finals. He's been impressed by the large crowds gathering at the Deer District outside Fiserv Forum. There was nothing like that back when Robertson and Abdul-Jabbar were playing at the MECCA.

“It’s wonderful," Robertson said. "This is the way it’s going to be, especially when these games end in June. When I played, they ended in April. March or April. I don’t know if you could stand outside that well in Milwaukee.

“I think it’s wonderful for people who don’t have tickets to the game to be involved. They’re rooting for their team.”

Having been there before, Robertson knows that playoff battles can turn on a dime. He'll be watching closely to see how the Finals play out.

"They’re going to have to make some adjustments," he said. "It’s obvious that throughout the whole postseason, these are the two best teams. You’re going to get great play from both teams. The teams that make the right adjustments during the game are going to win.”

Contact Ben Steele at (414) 224-2676 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenSteeleMJS or Instagram at @bensteele_mjs