Bob Cousy responds to J.J. Redick: ‘People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people’

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Chris Paul‘s play this postseason has inspired plenty of beef.

Between Patrick Beverley and Paul? No surprise.

Between J.J. Redick and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo? Their job is to argue on ESPN.

Between Bob Cousy and Redick? That one I didn’t see coming.

While debating Russo about Paul’s and Cousy’s all-time rankings as point guards, Redick said Cousy “was being guarded by plumbers and firemen.”

A 93-year-old Cousy responded.

SiriusXM NBA Radio:

Cousy:

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. 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 their 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. A couple of point guards that weren’t too shabby, my colleague who also had an award created, 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.

And 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 was drafted in 1950. Another player selected in that first round, Irwin Dambrot, bypassed the NBA to become a dentist.

Professional basketball just wasn’t the same back then. Salaries weren’t high enough to practically always attract players over other professions. Players worked second jobs in the offseason.

There were absolutely greats in that era. Redick acknowledged that in the original segment. He was being hyperbolic with his plumbers-and-firemen comment. But the median player – and overall level of play – was lower.

That said, it is absolutely enjoyable to hear Cousy defend his generation and, implicitly, himself. Anytime someone says they’re not going to respond after saying “people with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention,” I’m here for it.

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Bob Cousy responds to J.J. Redick: ‘People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people’ originally appeared on NBCSports.com