When you look back through the archives of NBA history, some of the greatest players of all-time that you will pass by from generation-to-generation are Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.
If you go back even further though to when the NBA was in its early days, you will stumble across a man by the name of Bob Cousy, someone who is oftentimes overshadowed by Bill Russell's greatness and dominance with the Boston Celtics.
One of the greatest point guards of all time, what Cousy did on the basketball court in the 1950’s and early 1960’s with Boston was remarkable and his achievements show this.
Cousy won six championships with the Celtics, five straight from 1959 to 1963, he was an All-Star for all 13 seasons of his career in Boston, he led the league in assists eight different times and in 1971, Cousy was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
On this day in 1928, Bob Cousy was born in New York, New York and he grew up in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan's East Side during the Great Depression.
Beginning to play basketball when he was 13-years-old, Cousy broke his right hand at a young age after falling out of a tree, forcing him to learn how to play with his left hand and ultimately leading to the future Hall-of-Famer becoming ambidextrous.
This ended up being one of the greatest things that could have happened to Cousy simply because of the fact that he became dominant on the court utilizing both hands.
The game of basketball was much different when Bob Cousy was growing up and even when he made his first professional appearance with the Boston Celtics in 1950, but the concept of the game has remained the same since its creation.
Proving to be a crafty point guard who could find his open teammates and truly being one of the innovators of the point guard position in the NBA, Cousy made an immediate impact on the Celtics and helped them claim their first title in team history in 1956.
The trio of Hall-of-Fame head coach Red Auerbach, Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell and Hall-of-Famer Bob Cousy went on to win five of the next six titles together following Boston’s first title in 1956 and following the 1962-63 season, Cousy retired. Russell and Auerbach continued their dynasty with other future Hall-of-Famers in John Havlicek, Sam Jones and Tom Heinsohn, as the Celtics won five of the next six titles following Cousy’s retirement.
While he did officially retire from the NBA in 1963 in a heartfelt moment in a packed Boston Garden, Bob Cousy did end up playing in seven games during the 1969-70 season while he was the head coach of the Cincinnati Royals. This franchise ultimately relocated to Sacramento and became what we now know as the Sacramento Kings in 1986.
A true pioneer of the game, Bob Cousy celebrates his 94th birthday today, reaching yet another milestone in what has been a remarkable life.
He is a Celtics legend, NBA legend and he continues to serve the community as a legend of life off-the-court.
Happy Birthday Mr. Cousy.