Jerry West calls JJ Redick's 'plumbers and firemen' comment 'disrespectful' to Bob Cousy

Jerry West isn't happy with J.J. Redick.

The Hall of Famer took offense to Redick's comments in April when Redick downplayed Bob Cousy's accolades by claiming Cousy "was being guarded by plumbers and firemen" when discussing the Boston Celtics guard's legacy versus that of Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul on ESPN.

West went for the jugular in his rebuttal of Redick's claim by pointing out Redick's career relative to Cousy's.

"I know J.J. just a little bit, he's a very smart kid and everything, but tell me what his career looked like?" West said on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Friday. "What did he do that determined games? He averaged 12 points a game in the league? Somewhere along the way, numbers count. At that point and time, the players aren't what they used to be. J.J. certainly wasn’t going to guard the elite players. So you can nitpick anyone. The only reason I’m talking about him is because he was not an elite player, but he was a very good player, but he had a place on the team because of the ability to shoot the ball. ...

"Winning is all that mattered, that's what drove me. I subtly got better every year. We didn't have the facilities to get better. We had to work in the summers to support our family. JJ should be very thankful that he's made as much money as he's made, and Bob Cousy, whom I played against a couple of years, not very long — I just think it's disrespectful myself."

It should be noted Redick refused to compare Cousy with Paul as they played in different eras. Fellow ESPN panelist, Chris Russo, rejected that notion, claiming that because Cousy made first-team All-NBA against West and Oscar Robertson (two other Hall-of-Famers) and Paul hasn't in the modern NBA that Cousy is a better player.

That argument eventually led to Redick's "disrespectful" comments.

For what it's worth, Cousy is a Hall of Famer who won six NBA titles with Bill Russell and the Celtics, including five consecutive titles from 1959-63, and averaged 18.4 points, 7.5 assists in 35 minutes per game. He was also the 1957 NBA MVP, a 13-time NBA All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA first-team winner and an eight-time NBA assists leader.

Paul, meanwhile, is a 12-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA first team and seven-time NBA all-defensive first-team. He's averaged 18.1 points and 9.5 assists per game during his 17-year career but has yet to win an NBA championship.

Another cross-era comparison question remains unanswered.

Jerry West does not want to hear your Bob Cousy slander. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Jerry West does not want to hear your Bob Cousy slander. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)