Bob Cousy heard JJ Redick’s comments about him competing against plumbers and firefighters, and he was not going to sit around and not respond back to him.
Cousy shocked a lot of NBA fans this week who just realized that the NBA legend was still alive.
Cousy appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio where he was asked about Redick’s remarks. Redick took issue with the radio legend leaving Chris Paul out of the debate on the greatest point guards in NBA history. Redick scoffed at the assertion that Cousy, who played for the Celtics from 1950 to 1963 and then again in the 1969-70 season, was in that conversation because of the talent he played against.
“Bob Cousy won championships when there were eight teams in the NBA and you had to win two playoff series,” Redick said. “Let’s celebrate Bob Cousy in his era, but you can’t compare pre-1980 with the modern NBA.”
The 93-year-old Cousy had his chance to respond.l
“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.
“So when you respond to something like this, you play into their hands. I won’t do that, but I will defend the firemen and the plumbers that he referenced. And I’ll just give you a few of the names of these firemen that I played with and against during those years. How about Bill Russell, the aforementioned, not too bad a player. Wilt Chamberlain, remember that guy? He wasn’t bad. I guess he must have fought fires as well. But in any event, Wilt Chamberlain.”
“Still the best, in my judgment, small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor,” Cousy said. “A couple of point guards that weren’t too shabby, my colleague who also had an award created [in his name], guy named Oscar Robertson, who was pound for pound the best player perhaps in the game.
“Jerry West wasn’t too shabby. The guys on our team, Sam and K.C. Jones, a guy named ‘Hondo’ Havlicek wasn’t too bad. Tom Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey, George Mikan, Bob Pettit, I could go on and on. We must have had the best firemen and plumbers on the planet at the time. And I was very proud to play with all of them.”
Cousy never shot over 40% in a single season and never led the NBA in scoring, but he did lead the NBA in assists per game eight times during his career. He was a six-time NBA champion and won the MVP in 1957.
The current Phoenix Suns guard is a 12-time All-Star, while Cousy was a 13-time All-Star. Paul led the league in assists per game five times and had regularly shot the ball over 40% during his long career.