Bob Cousy

Robert Joseph Cousy (/ˈkuːziː/, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball player. Cousy played point guard with the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963 and briefly with the Cincinnati Royals in the 1969–70 season. Making his high school varsity squad as a junior, he went on to earn a scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross, where he led the Crusaders to berths in the 1948 NCAA Tournament and 1950 NCAA Tournament and was named an NCAA All-American for 3 seasons.

Cousy was initially drafted by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks as the third overall pick in the first round of the 1950 NBA draft, but after he refused to report, he was picked up by Boston. He had an exceptionally successful career with the Celtics, leading the league an unprecedented 8 straight years in assists, playing on six NBA championship teams, and being voted into 13 NBA All-Star Games in his 13 full NBA seasons. He was also named to 12 All-NBA First and Second Teams and won the 1957 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.[1]

En route to his assist streak that was unmatched either in number of crowns or consecutive years, Cousy introduced a new blend of ball-handling and passing skills to the NBA that earned him the nickname "The Houdini of the Hardwood".[2] Also known as "Cooz", he was regularly introduced at Boston Garden as "Mr. Basketball". After his playing career, he coached the Royals for several years, capped by a seven-game cameo comeback for them at age 41.

Cousy then became a broadcaster for Celtics games. Upon his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971 the Celtics retired his #14 jersey and hung it in the rafters of the Garden.[2] Cousy was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971, the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1981, and the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, making him one of only four players that were selected to each of those teams. He was also the first president of National Basketball Players Association.

Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy (1).jpeg
Cousy, circa 1959–63
Personal information
BornAugust 9, 1928 (age 90)
Manhattan, New York
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolAndrew Jackson
(Queens, New York)
CollegeHoly Cross (1946–1950)
NBA draft1950 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Playing career1950–1963, 1969–1970
PositionPoint guard
Number14, 19
Coaching career1963–1973
Career history
As player:
19501963Boston Celtics
1969–1970Cincinnati Royals
As coach:
1963–1969Boston College
19691973Cincinnati Royals/Kansas City-Omaha Kings
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points16,960 (18.4 ppg)
Rebounds4,786 (5.2 rpg)
Assists6,955 (7.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Early years

Cousy was the only son of poor French immigrants living in New York City. He grew up in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan's East Side, in the midst of the Great Depression.[3] His father Joseph was a cab driver, who earned extra income by moonlighting. The elder Cousy had served in the German Army during World War I. Shortly after the war, his first wife died of pneumonia, leaving behind a young daughter. He married Julie Corlet, a secretary and French teacher from Dijon.[4] At the time of the 1930 census, the family was renting an apartment in Astoria, Queens, for $50 per month. The younger Cousy spoke French for the first 5 years of his life, and started to speak English only after entering primary school. He spent his early days playing stickball in a multicultural environment, regularly playing with African Americans, Jews and other ethnic minority children.[4] These experiences ingrained him with a strong anti-racist sentiment, an attitude he prominently promoted during his professional career.[5] When he was 12, his family moved to a rented house in St. Albans, Queens. That summer, the elder Cousy put a $500 down payment for a $4,500 house four blocks away. He rented out the bottom two floors of the three-story building to tenants to help make his mortgage payments on time.[6]

Andrew Jackson High School

Cousy took up basketball at the age of 13 as a student at St. Pascal's elementary school, and was "immediately hooked".[7] The following year, he entered Andrew Jackson High School in St Albans. His basketball success was not immediate, and in fact he was cut from the school team in his first year. Later that year, he joined the St. Albans Lindens of the Press League, a basketball league sponsored by the Long Island Press,[8] where he began to develop his basketball skills and gained much-needed experience. The next year, however, he was again cut during the tryouts for the school basketball team.

That same year, he fell out of a tree and broke his right hand. The injury forced him to play left-handed until his hand healed, making him effectively ambidextrous. In retrospect, he described this accident as "a fortunate event" and cited it as a factor in making him more versatile on the court.[9] During a Press League game, the high school basketball coach saw him play. He was impressed by the budding star's two-handed ability and invited Cousy to come to practice the following day to try out for the junior varsity team. He did well enough to become a permanent member of the JV squad.[10] He continued to practice day and night, and by his junior year was sure he was going to be promoted to the varsity; but failing his citizenship course made him ineligible for the first semester.[11] He joined the varsity squad midway through the season, however, scoring 28 points in his first game.[12] He had no intention of attending college, but after he started to make a name for himself on the basketball court he started to focus on improving in both academics and basketball skills to make it easier for him to get into college.[13]

He again excelled in basketball his senior year, leading his team to the Queens divisional championship and amassing more points than any other New York City high school basketball player. He was even named captain of the Journal-American All-Scholastic team.[14] He then began to plan for college. His family had wanted him to attend a Catholic school, and he wanted to go somewhere outside New York City. Boston College recruited him, and he considered accepting the BC offer, but it had no dormitories, and he was not interested in being a commuter student. Soon afterward, he received an offer from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts about forty miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston. He was impressed by the school, and accepted the basketball scholarship it offered him.[15] He spent the summer before matriculating working at Tamarack Lodge in the Catskill Mountains and playing in a local basketball league along with a number of established college players.[16]

Holy Cross

Cousy was one of six freshmen on the Holy Cross Crusaders' varsity basketball team in 1946–47. From the start of the season, coach Doggie Julian chose to play the six freshmen off the bench in a two-team system, so that each player would get some time on the court. As members of the "second team", they would come off the bench nine and a half minutes into the game, where they would relieve the "first team" starters. They would sometimes get to play as much as a third or even half of the game,[17] but even at that Cousy was so disappointed with the lack of playing time that he went to the campus chapel after practice to pray that Julian would give him more of a chance to show off his talents on the court.[17] Early in the season, however, he got into trouble with Julian, who accused him of being a showboater. Even as late as that 1946–47 season basketball was a static game, depending on slow, deliberate player movement and flat-footed shots. Far different was Cousy's up-tempo, streetball-like game, marked by ambidextrous finesse play and notable for behind-the-back dribbling and no-look, behind-the-back and half-court passing.[2] Even so, he had enough playing time in games to score 227 points for the season, finishing with the third-highest total on the team. Led by stars George Kaftan and Joe Mullaney, the Crusaders finished the 1946–47 basketball season 24–3.[18]

On the basis of that record, Holy Cross got into the 1947 NCAA Tournament as the last seed in the then only eight-team tournament. In the first game, they defeated Navy 55-47 in front of a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. Mullaney led the team in scoring with 18 points, thanks to Navy coach Ben Carnevale's decision to have his players back off from Mullaney, who was reputed as being more of a playmaker than a shooter.[19] In the semifinal game, the Crusaders faced CCNY, coached by Nat Holman, one of the game's earliest innovators. Led by Kaftan's thirty points, Holy Cross easily defeated the Beavers 60–45.[20] In the championship game, the Crusaders faced Oklahoma, coached by Bruce Drake, in another sold-out game at Madison Square Garden. Kaftan followed up his 30-point semifinal heroics with a mere 18 points in the title game, which was far more than enough for the team to defeat the Sooners 58–47.[20] Cousy played poorly, however, scoring only four points on 2-for-13 shots. Holy Cross became the first New England college to win the NCAA tournament. On their arrival back in Worcester, the team was given a hero's welcome by about ten thousand cheering fans who met their train at Union Station.[20]

The following season Julian limited Cousy's playing time, to the point that the frustrated sophomore contemplated transferring out of Holy Cross. Cousy wrote a letter to coach Joe Lapchick of St. John's University in New York, informing him that he was considering a transfer there. Lapchick wrote back to Cousy that he considered Julian "one of the finest basketball coaches in America"[21] and that he believed Julian had no bad intentions in restricting his playing time. He told Cousy that Julian would use him more often during his later years with the team. Lapchick alerted Cousy that transferring was a very risky move: according to NCAA rules, the player would be required to sit out a year before becoming eligible to play for the school to which he transferred.[22]

During Cousy's senior year of 1949–1950, his fate changed in a match against Loyola of Chicago at Boston Garden. With 5 minutes left and Holy Cross trailing, the crowd started to chant "We want Cousy!" until coach Julian relented.[23] In these few minutes, Cousy scored 11 points and hit a game-winning buzzer-beater coming off a behind-the-back dribble. The performance established him as a team leader, and he then led Holy Cross to 26 straight wins and a Number 4 national ranking. A three-time All-American,[2] Cousy ended his college career in the 1950 NCAA Tournament, when Holy Cross fell to North Carolina State in an opening round game at Madison Square Garden. CCNY would go on to win the tournament.

Boston Celtics

The first years (1950–56)

Cousy turned pro and made himself available for the 1950 NBA draft. The Boston Celtics had just concluded the 1949–50 NBA season with a poor 22–46 win-loss record and had the first draft pick. It was strongly anticipated that they would draft the highly coveted local favorite Cousy. However, coach Red Auerbach snubbed him for center Charlie Share, saying: "Am I supposed to win, or please the local yokels?" The local press strongly criticized Auerbach,[2] but other scouts were also skeptical about Cousy, viewing him as flamboyant but ineffective. One scout wrote in his report: "The first time he tries that fancy Dan stuff in this league, they'll cram the ball down his throat."[7]

As a result, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks drafted Cousy, but the point guard was unenthusiastic about his new employer. Cousy was trying to establish a driving school in Worcester, Massachusetts and did not want to relocate to the Midwestern triangle of the three small towns of Moline, Rock Island and Davenport. As compensation for having to give up his driving school, Cousy demanded a salary of $10,000 from Blackhawks owner Ben Kerner. When Kerner only offered him $6,000, Cousy refused to report.[9] Cousy was then picked up by the Chicago Stags, but when they folded, league Commissioner Maurice Podoloff declared three Stags available for a dispersal draft: team scoring leader Max Zaslofsky, Andy Phillip and Cousy.[9] Celtics owner Walter A. Brown was one of the three club bosses invited. He later made it clear that he was hoping for Zaslofsky, would have tolerated Phillip, and did not want Cousy. When the Celtics drew Cousy, Brown confessed: "I could have fallen to the floor." Brown reluctantly gave him a $9,000 salary.[2]

Bob Cousy.jpeg
Cousy circa 1953

It was not long before both Auerbach and Brown changed their minds. With averages of 15.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game, Cousy received the first of his 13 consecutive NBA All-Star selections[1] and led a Celtics team with future Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Ed Macauley and Bones McKinney to a 39–30 record in the 1950–51 NBA season. However, in the 1951 NBA Playoffs, the Celtics were beaten by the New York Knicks.[24] With future Hall-of-Fame guard Bill Sharman on board the next season, Cousy averaged 21.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game en route to his first All-NBA First Team nomination.[1] Nonetheless, the Celtics lost to the Knicks in the 1952 NBA Playoffs.[25]

In the following season, Cousy made further progress. Averaging 7.7 assists per game, he won the first of his eight consecutive assists titles.[1] These numbers were made despite the fact that the NBA had not yet introduced the shot clock, making the game static and putting prolific assist givers at a disadvantage.[2] Powered by Auerbach's quick fastbreak-dominated tactics, the Celtics won 46 games and beat the Syracuse Nationals 2–0 in the 1953 NBA Playoffs. Game 2 ended 111–105 in a 4-overtime thriller, in which Cousy had a much-lauded game. Despite having an injured leg, he scored 25 points after four quarters, scored 6 of his team's 9 points in the first overtime, hit a clutch free throw in the last seconds, and scored all 4 of Boston's points in the second overtime. He scored 8 more points in the third overtime, among them a 25-ft. buzzer beater. In the fourth overtime, he scored 9 of Boston's 12 points. Cousy played 66 minutes, and scored 50 points after making a still-standing record of 30 free throws in 32 attempts. This game is regarded by the NBA as one of the finest scoring feats ever, in line with Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game.[2] However, for the third time in a row, the Knicks beat Boston in the next round.[26]

In the next three years, Cousy firmly established himself as one of the league's best point guards. Leading the league in assists all 3 seasons, and averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds, the versatile Cousy earned himself three more All-NBA First Team and All-Star honors, and was also Most Valuable Player of the 1954 NBA All-Star Game.[1] In terms of playing style, Cousy introduced an array of visually attractive street basketball moves, described by the NBA as a mix of ambidextrous, behind-the-back dribbling and "no-look passes, behind-the-back feeds or half-court fastbreak launches".[2] Cousy's modus operandi contrasted with the rest of the NBA, which was dominated by muscular low post scorers and deliberate set shooters.[9] Soon, he was called "Houdini of the Hardwood" after the magician Harry Houdini. Cousy's crowd-pleasing and effective play drew the crowd into the Boston Garden and also won over coach Auerbach, who no longer saw him as a liability, but as an essential building block for the future.[27]

The Celtics eventually added two talented forwards, future Hall-of-Famer Frank Ramsey and defensive specialist Jim Loscutoff. Along with Celtics colleague Bob Brannum, Loscutoff also became Cousy's unofficial bodyguard, retaliating against opposing players who would try to hurt him.[28] The Celtics were unable to make their mark in the 1954 NBA Playoffs, 1955 NBA Playoffs, and 1956 NBA Playoffs, where they lost three times in a row against the Nationals.[29][30][31] Cousy attributed the shortcomings to fatigue, stating: "We would get tired in the end and could not get the ball".[32] As a result, Auerbach sought a defensive center who could get easy rebounds, initiate fast breaks and close out games.[27]

Dynasty years (1957–63)

Bob Cousy NYWTS
Bob Cousy in 1960.

Before the 1956–57 NBA season, Auerbach drafted two future Hall-of-Famers: forward Tom Heinsohn, and defensive center Bill Russell. Powered by these new players, the Celtics went 44–28 in the regular season,[2] and Cousy averaged 20.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and a league-leading 7.5 assists, earning his first NBA Most Valuable Player Award; he also won his second NBA All-Star Game MVP award.[1] The Celtics reached the 1957 NBA Finals, and powered by Cousy on offense and rugged center Russell on defense, they beat the Hawks 4–3, who were noted for future Hall-of-Fame power forward Bob Pettit and former teammates Macauley and Hagan. Cousy finally won his first title.[33]

In the 1957–58 NBA season, Cousy had yet another highly productive year, with his 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game leading to nominations into the All-NBA First Team and the All-Star team. He again led the NBA in assists.[1] The Celtics reached the 1958 NBA Finals against the Hawks, but when Russell succumbed to a foot injury in Game 3, the Celtics faded and bowed out four games to two. This was the last losing NBA playoff series in which Cousy would play.[34]

In the following 1958–59 NBA season, the Celtics got revenge on their opposition, powered by an inspired Cousy, who averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and a league-high 8.6 assists a game, won another assists title and another pair of All-NBA First Team and All-Star team nominations.[1] Late in the season, Cousy reasserted his playmaking dominance by setting an NBA record with 28 assists in a game against the Minneapolis Lakers. While that record was broken 19 years later, Cousy also set a record for 19 assists in a half which has never been broken. The Celtics stormed through the playoffs and, behind Cousy's 51 total assists (still a record for a four-game NBA Finals series), defeated the Minneapolis Lakers in the first 4–0 sweep ever in the 1959 NBA Finals.[35]

In the 1959–60 NBA season, Cousy was again productive, his 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game earning him his eighth consecutive assists title and another joint All-NBA First Team and All-Star team nomination.[1] Again, the Celtics defeated all opposition and won the 1960 NBA Finals 4–3 against the Hawks.[36] A year later, the 32-year-old Cousy scored 18.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, winning another pair of All-NBA First Team and All-Star nominations, but failing to win the assists crown after eight consecutive seasons.[1] However, the Celtics won the 1961 NBA Finals after convincingly beating the Hawks 4–1.[37]

In the 1961–62 NBA season, the aging Cousy slowly began to fade statistically, averaging 15.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists, and was voted into the All-NBA Second Team after ten consecutive First Team nominations.[1] Still, he enjoyed a satisfying postseason, winning the 1962 NBA Finals after 4–3 battles against two upcoming teams, the Philadelphia Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. The Finals series against the Lakers was especially dramatic, because Lakers guard Frank Selvy failed to make a last-second buzzer beater in Game 7 which would have won the title.[38] Finally, in the 1962–63 NBA season, the last of his career, Cousy averaged 13.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists, and collected one last All-Star and All-NBA Second Team nomination.[1] In the 1963 NBA Finals, the Celtics again won 4–2 against the Lakers, and Cousy finished his career on a high note: in the fourth quarter of Game 6, Cousy sprained an ankle and had to be helped to the bench. He went back in with Boston up 1. Although he did not score again, he was credited with providing an emotional lift that carried the Celtics to victory, 112–109. The game ended with Cousy throwing the ball into the rafters.[2]

Retirement

At age 34, Cousy held his retirement ceremony on March 17, 1963 in a packed Boston Garden. The event became known as the Boston Tear Party, when the crowd's response overwhelmed Cousy, left him speechless, and caused his planned 7-minute farewell to go on for 20. Joe Dillon, a water worker from South Boston, Massachusetts, and a devoted Celtics fan, screamed "We love ya, Cooz", breaking the tension and the crowd went into cheers.[2] As a testament to Cousy's legacy, President John F. Kennedy wired to Cousy: "The game bears an indelible stamp of your rare skills and competitive daring."

Post-playing career

After retiring as a player, Cousy published his autobiography Basketball Is My Life in 1963, and in the same year became coach at Boston College. In the 1965 ECAC Holiday Basketball Festival at Madison Square Garden, Providence defeated Boston College 91-86 in the title game, when the Friars were led by Tourney MVP and All-American Jimmy Walker. Providence was coached by Joe Mullaney, who was Cousy's teammate at Holy Cross when the two men were players there in 1947. In his six seasons there, he had a record of 117 wins and 38 losses and was named New England Coach of the Year for 1968 and 1969. Cousy led the Eagles to three NIT appearances, including a berth in the 1969 NIT Championship and two National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments, including the 1967 Eastern Regional Finals.[2]

Cousy grew bored with college basketball and returned to the NBA as coach of the Cincinnati Royals, team of fellow Hall-of-Fame point guard Oscar Robertson. He later said about this engagement, "I did it for the money. I was made an offer I couldn't refuse."[7] In 1970, the 41-year-old Cousy even made a late-season comeback as a player to boost ticket sales. Despite his meager output of 5 points in 34 minutes of playing time in seven games,[1] ticket sales jumped by 77 percent.[2] He continued as coach of the team after it moved from Cincinnati to Kansas City/Omaha, but stepped down as the Kings' coach early in the 1973–74 NBA season with a 141–209 record.[2]

In later life, Cousy was Commissioner of the American Soccer League from 1974 to 1979. He was a color analyst on Celtics telecasts during the 1980s."[7] In addition, Cousy had a role in the basketball film Blue Chips in 1993, in which he played a college athletic director. Today he is a marketing consultant for the Celtics, and occasionally makes broadcast appearances with Mike Gorman and ex-Celtic teammate Tom Heinsohn.[39]

Coaching record

College coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing
Boston College (ECAC) (1963–1969)
1963–64 Boston College 10–11
1964–65 Boston College 21–7 NIT First Round
1965–66 Boston College 21–5 NIT Quarterfinals
1966–67 Boston College 21–3 NCAA Elite Eight
1967–68 Boston College 17–8 NCAA First round
1968–69 Boston College 24–4 NIT Runner-Up
Boston College: 114–38
Total: 114–38 (0.750)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

NBA coaching record

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Celtics14
The Boston Celtics retired the number-14 jersey with Bob Cousy's name.

Legacy

In 1954, the NBA had no health benefits, pension plan, minimum salary, and the average player's salary was $8,000 a season. To combat this, Cousy organized the National Basketball Players Association, the first trade union among those in the four major North American professional sports leagues. Cousy served as its first president until 1958.

In his 13-year, 924-game NBA playing career, Cousy finished with 16,960 points, 4,786 rebounds and 6,955 assists, translating to averages of 18.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.[1] He was regarded as the first great point guard of the NBA, winning eight of the first 11 assist titles in the league, all of them en bloc, and had a highly successful career, winning six NBA titles, one MVP award, 13 All-Star and 12 All-NBA First and Second Team call-ups and two All-Star MVP awards.[1] With his eye-catching dribbling and unorthodox passing, Cousy popularized modern guard play and raised the profile of the Boston Celtics and the entire NBA.[7] His fast-paced playing style was later emulated by the likes of Pete Maravich and Magic Johnson.[2]

In recognition of his feats, Cousy was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971 and honored by the Celtics, which retired his #14 jersey. Celtics owner Walter Brown said: "The Celtics wouldn't be here without him [Cousy]. He made basketball in this town. If he had played in New York he would have been the biggest thing since [New York Yankees baseball legend] Babe Ruth. I think he is anyway."[7] In addition, on May 11, 2006, ESPN.com rated Cousy as the fifth greatest point guard of all time, lauding him as "ahead of his time with his ballhandling and passing skills" and pointing out he is one of only seven point guards ever to win a NBA Most Valuable Player award.[40]

On November 16, 2008 Cousy's college #17 was hoisted to the Hart Center rafters. During halftime of a game between the Holy Cross Crusaders and St. Joseph's Hawks, Cousy, George Kaftan, Togo Palazzi, and Tommy Heinsohn's numbers became the first to hang from the gymnasium's ceiling.

Personal life

Cousy married his college sweetheart, Missie Ritterbusch, in December 1950, six months after he graduated from Holy Cross.[41] They lived in Worcester, Massachusetts,[39] and had two daughters. Missie, his wife of 62 years, died on September 20, 2013, after suffering from dementia for several years.[42]

Cousy was well-known, both on and off the court, for his public stance against racism, a result of his upbringing in a multicultural environment. In 1950, the Celtics played a game in the then-segregated city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and teammate Chuck Cooper—the first African-American in NBA history to be drafted—would have been denied a hotel room. Instead of taking the hotel room, Cousy insisted on travelling with Cooper on an uncomfortable overnight train. He described their visit to a segregated men's toilet—Cooper was prohibited from using the clean "for whites" bathroom and had to use the shabby "for colored" facility—as one of the most shameful experiences of his life.[43] He also sympathized with the plight of black Celtics star Bill Russell, who was frequently a victim of racism.[44]

Cousy was close to his Celtics mentor, head coach Red Auerbach, and was one of the few permitted to call him "Arnold", his given name, instead of his nickname "Red".[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Bob Cousy Statistics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Bob Cousy Bio". NBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. July 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Bill (2005). Cousy: His Life, Career, and the Birth of Big-Time Basketball. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 23. ISBN 0-7432-5476-7.
  4. ^ a b Reynolds, p24.
  5. ^ McClellan, Michael D. (July 22, 2007). "Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy Interview page 1". Celtic Nation.
  6. ^ Reynolds, p26.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Schwartz, Larry (July 22, 2007). "Celtics tried to pass on ultimate passer". ESPN.com.
  8. ^ Reynolds, p31.
  9. ^ a b c d e McClellan, Michael D. (July 22, 2007). "Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy Interview page 5". Celtic Nation.
  10. ^ Reynolds, p32.
  11. ^ Reynolds, p34.
  12. ^ Reynolds, p35.
  13. ^ Reynolds, p36.
  14. ^ Reynolds, p37.
  15. ^ Reynolds, p39.
  16. ^ Reynolds, pp40–41.
  17. ^ a b Reynolds, p48.
  18. ^ Reynolds, p50.
  19. ^ Reynolds, p51.
  20. ^ a b c Reynolds, p52.
  21. ^ full contents of the letter
  22. ^ Reynolds, p56.
  23. ^ Reynolds, pp57–58.
  24. ^ "1950–51 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  25. ^ "1951–52 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  26. ^ "1952–53 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  27. ^ a b "Red Auerbach biography". jockbio.com. July 22, 2007. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  28. ^ McClellan, Michael D. (July 22, 2007). "Celtics-nation.com: Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy Interview page 7". Celtic Nation.
  29. ^ "1953–54 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  30. ^ "1954–55 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  31. ^ "1955–56 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  32. ^ Shouler, Ken (July 22, 2007). "The Consummate Coach". ESPN.com.
  33. ^ "1956–57 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  34. ^ "1957–58 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  35. ^ "1958–59 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  36. ^ "1959–60 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  37. ^ "1960–61 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  38. ^ "1961–62 Boston Celtics". Sports Reference, Inc. July 22, 2007.
  39. ^ a b "Bob Cousy: Marketing Consultant". NBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. July 22, 2007.
  40. ^ espn.com. "Daily Dime: Special Edition – The 10 Greatest Point Guards Ever". Retrieved April 24, 2007.
  41. ^ Reynolds, p84.
  42. ^ Marie A. Cousy. Legacy.com. Retrieved on October 3, 2013.
  43. ^ McClellan, Michael D. (July 22, 2007). "Celtics-nation.com: Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy Interview page 6". Celtic Nation.
  44. ^ McClellan, Michael D. (July 22, 2007). "Celtics-nation.com: Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy Interview page 8". Celtic Nation.

External links

1950 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The consensus 1950 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of five major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, Look Magazine, The United Press International, Collier's Magazine and the International News Service.

1950–51 Boston Celtics season

The 1950–51 Boston Celtics season was the fifth season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It was Red Auerbach's first season as head coach.

1954 NBA All-Star Game

The 1954 NBA All Star Game was the fourth NBA All-Star Game. It was held on January 21, 1954, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics was the game MVP. Joe Lapchick of the New York Knicks coached the Eastern Conference and John Kundla of the Minneapolis Lakers coached the Western Conference. The attendance was 16,487.

The Eastern Conference held an 84–82 edge with only seconds remaining in the game. Then, George Mikan of the Lakers was fouled. Mikan proceeded to make both foul shots, which sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Cousy scored 10 points to secure a 98–93 victory. The Western Conference's Jim Pollard, the game's high scorer with 23 points, had been named MVP in a vote taken before regulation time had run out. But another ballot was taken and Cousy became the MVP.

The 1954 All-Star Game was the last All-Star Game in which neither side reached 100 points.

1955 NBA All-Star Game

The 1955 NBA All Star Game was the fifth NBA All-Star Game. Bill Sharman was named the game's MVP after scoring ten of his fifteen points in the fourth quarter, while his teammate Bob Cousy led all scorers with 20 points.

1956–57 NBA season

The 1956–57 NBA season was the 11th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship (which would be the first of their 17 NBA titles), beating the St. Louis Hawks 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

1957 NBA All-Star Game

The 1957 NBA All Star Game was the seventh NBA All-Star Game. With the score 43-39 in favor of the West and with time running out in the first half, the East's Bill Sharman attempted to throw a long pass to Bob Cousy. Instead, the play resulted in him making a remarkable 70-foot (21 m) shot to end the first half.

1960 NBA Finals

The 1960 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1960 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association 1959–60 season. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion St. Louis Hawks and the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. It was Boston's fourth trip to the NBA Finals and St. Louis' third. The Celtics beat the Hawks 4–3. The Finals featured Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Coach Red Auerbach, Bob Pettit, Cliff Hagan, Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette, and Coach Alex Hannum.

This was the last time the NBA Finals would be played in March.

All-NBA Team

The All-NBA Team is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) honor bestowed on the best players in the league following every NBA season. The voting is conducted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The team has been selected in every season of the league's existence, dating back to its inaugural season in 1946. The All-NBA Team originally had two teams, but since 1988 it is typically composed of three five-man lineups—a first, second, and third team.

Players receive five points for a first team vote, three points for a second team vote, and one point for a third team vote. The five players with the highest point totals make the first team, with the next five making the second team and so forth. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of any team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties. A tie has occurred only once, in 1952, when Bob Davies and Dolph Schayes tied in votes received. From 1946 to 1955, players were selected without regard to position; however, since 1956, each team has consisted of two guards, two forwards, and one center.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan hold the record for the most total selections with fifteen. Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James follow with fourteen total honors, while Schayes, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dirk Nowitzki have twelve selections. James has the most All-NBA first team honors with twelve, while Malone and Bryant are tied for second-most with eleven.

Blue Chips

Blue Chips is a 1994 American basketball drama film, directed by William Friedkin, written by Ron Shelton and starring Nick Nolte as a college coach and real-life basketball stars Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway as talented finds. It features cameos from noted basketball figures Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Nolan Richardson, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Jerry Tarkanian, Matt Painter, Allan Houston, Dick Vitale, Jim Boeheim, Dan Dakich and Bobby Hurley, as well as actor Louis Gossett, Jr.

Bob Cousy Award

The Bob Cousy Award presented by The College of the Holy Cross (or Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award) is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate point guard. It is named after six-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Bob Cousy, who played point guard for the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963. Cousy won six championships with the Celtics.Annually, a list of players is nominated by college head coaches, members of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). A screening committee of CoSIDA members reviews the nominations, and selects 16 players from each division (12 from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, and two each from Division II and III). A selection committee appointed by the Hall then selects the winner. This 30-member committee is composed of Hall of Famers, head coaches, sports information directors, the media, and Cousy himself.When Maryland's Greivis Vásquez won the award in 2010, the Venezuelan became the first player born outside the U.S. to receive this award. The University of North Carolina has fielded the greatest number of award winners (3), with Raymond Felton winning the award in 2005, Ty Lawson receiving the honor in 2009 and Kendall Marshall winning in 2012.

Delon Wright

Delon Reginald Wright (born April 26, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Utah Utes and was a first-team all-conference player in the Pac-12 in 2014 and 2015. He also earned the Bob Cousy Award in 2015.

Field goal percentage

Field goal percentage in basketball is the ratio of field goals made to field goals attempted. Its abbreviation is FG%. Although three-point field goal percentage is often calculated separately, three-point field goals are included in the general field goal percentage. Instead of using scales of 0 to 100%, the scale .000 to 1.000 is commonly used. A higher field goal percentage denotes higher efficiency. In basketball, a FG% of .500 (50%) or above is considered a good percentage, although this criterion does not apply equally to all positions. Guards usually have lower FG% than forwards and centers. Field goal percentage does not completely tell the skill of a player, but a low field goal percentage can indicate a poor offensive player or a player who takes many difficult shots. In the NBA, Center Shaquille O'Neal had a high career FG% (around .580) because he played near the basket making many high percentage layups and dunks. Guard Allen Iverson often had a low FG% (around .420) because he took the bulk of his team's shot attempts, even with high difficulty shots.

The NBA career record for field goal percentage is held by DeAndre Jordan at 0.671. The highest field goal percentage for a single season was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 0.727 in the 1972–73 season.

Field goal percentages were substantially lower in the NBA until the mid-to-late 1960s. For this reason, many early NBA stars have low field goal percentages, such as Bob Cousy at .375, and George Mikan, Bob Pettit, and Bill Russell, whose career field goal percentages of .404, .436, and .440, respectively, are much lower than later post players.Three-point field goal percentage is usually kept as additional statistics. Its abbreviation is 3FG%. A 3FG% of .400 and above is a very good percentage.

Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball

The Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball team represents the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, in NCAA Division I competition. The team competes in the Patriot League and plays their home games in the Hart Center. The program boasts such notable alumni as Boston Celtics legends Bob Cousy and Tom Heinsohn, and longtime Providence College basketball coach Joe Mullaney.

Jerry West Award

The Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate shooting guard. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Julius Erving Award, Karl Malone Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after NBA Finals Champion and NBA Finals MVP player Jerry West. The inaugural winner was D'Angelo Russell.

Julius Erving Award

The Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate small forward. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Jerry West Award, Karl Malone Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team player Julius Erving. The inaugural winner was Stanley Johnson.

Karl Malone Award

The Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award is an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top men's collegiate power forward. Following the success of the Bob Cousy Award which had been awarded since 2004, the award was one of four new awards (along with the Jerry West Award, Julius Erving Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award) created as part of the inaugural College Basketball Awards show in 2015. It is named after 14-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA First Team player Karl Malone. The inaugural winner was Montrezl Harrell.

List of National Basketball Association annual assists leaders

In basketball, an assist is a pass to a teammate that directly leads to a score by field goal. The National Basketball Association's (NBA) assist title is awarded to the player with the highest assists per game average in a given season. The assists title was first recognized in the 1946–47 season when statistics on assists were first compiled by the Basketball Association of America (BAA), predecessor of the NBA. To qualify for the assist title, the player must appear in at least 70 games (out of 82) or have at least 400 assists. This has been the entry criteria since the 1974–75 season. The assists title was originally determined by assist total through the 1968–69 season, after which assists per game was used to determine the leader instead.

John Stockton holds the all-time records for total assists (1,164) and assists per game (14.54) in a season, achieved in the 1990–91 and 1989–90 seasons, respectively. Mark Jackson holds the rookie records for total assists and assists per game when he had 868 and averaged 10.6 in the 1987–88 season. Among active players, Chris Paul had the highest season assists total (925) in the 2007–08 season and Rajon Rondo had the highest season assists average (11.70) in the 2011–12 season.

Stockton has won the most assists titles in his career, with nine. Bob Cousy won eight assists titles, while Oscar Robertson won six. Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have won five assists titles, while Kevin Porter, Magic Johnson, and Chris Paul have each won four. Rajon Rondo has won three, while Andy Phillip and Guy Rodgers are the only other players to have won the title more than once. Stockton has also won the most consecutive assists titles, with nine. Three players have won both the assists title and the NBA championship in the same season: Cousy in 1957 and from 1959 to 1960 with the Boston Celtics; Jerry West in 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Johnson in 1987 with the Lakers.

NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the player(s) voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. The league also re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 MVP winners respectively. The voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 since the game was canceled due to the league's lockout. As of 2019, the most recent recipient is Golden State Warrior forward Kevin Durant.

Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant are the only two players to win the All-Star Game MVP four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant have all won the award twice. James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month. Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 21 years, 10 months. They are notable as being the two youngest to win the award, both as Cleveland Cavaliers. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, and O'Neal and Bryant in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States. Both Duncan and Irving are American citizens, but are considered "international" players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Irving lived in the U.S. since age two, and Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest.

Bob Pettit (1958, 1959) and Russell Westbrook (2015, 2016) are the only players to win consecutive awards. Pettit (1956), Bob Cousy (1957), Wilt Chamberlain (1960), Bill Russell (1963), Oscar Robertson (1964), Willis Reed (1970), Dave Cowens (1973), Michael Jordan (1988, 1996, 1998), Magic Johnson (1990), Shaquille O'Neal (2000), and Allen Iverson (2001) all won the All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season; Jordan is the only player to do this multiple times. 14 players have won the award playing for the team that hosted the All-Star Game: Macauley (1951), Cousy (1957), Pettit (1958, 1962), Chamberlain (1960), Adrian Smith (1966), Rick Barry (1967), Jerry West (1972), Tom Chambers (1987), Michael Jordan (1988), Karl Malone (1993), John Stockton (1993), O'Neal (2004, 2009), Bryant (2011) and Davis (2017); Pettit and O'Neal did this multiple times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of playing in the most All-Star Games (18) without winning the All-Star Game MVP, while Adrian Smith won the MVP in his only All-Star Game.

Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Cincinnati 1969–70 82 36 46 .439 5th in Eastern Missed Playoffs
Cincinnati 1970–71 82 33 49 .402 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Cincinnati 1971–72 82 30 52 .366 3rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Kansas City-Omaha 1972–73 82 36 46 .439 4th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
Kansas City-Omaha 1973–74 22 6 16 .273 (fired)
Career 350 141 209 .403
Bob Cousy

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