Celebrating basketball's past and futureThe life of a legendProvidence, Rhode Island, sports columnist Bill Reynolds has written a biography of the man who essentially started "new school" basketball. Cousy gives us a look back at one of the most creative players ever. Bob Cousy was a college all-star with Holy Cross in the late 1940s, turned pro with the Boston Celtics, and was a part of the first half of the Celtics' NBA dynasty from 1957 to 1963. He was the flashiest player of his time, and the list of tricks he could perform with a basketball was amazing. It was as if a whole new way of playing basketball had been created. Not only did his style impress crowds, his startling passes were effective they got the ball to teammates in shooting position. If you want a treat, find some video of Cousy playing in the 1950s.
Reynolds reviews Cousy's life, starting with his youth as a shy child of poor immigrants in New York, then concentrates on the Celtics' championship run. It was a special time in sports history, as Boston went on to win a still-unprecedented 11 championships in 13 years. Reynolds makes a particularly great point when he says that while Cousy, center Bill Russell and coach Red Auerbach couldn't have come from more diverse backgrounds, they all had something very much in common: an overwhelming desire to win. Cousy cooperated with Reynolds on the book, and his reflections on his own life are especially interesting. The ex-player still feels guilty about not doing more to help black players in their struggles in the NBA during the 1950s, although he was ahead of most in that area.