As you’ve probably noticed, from time to time we like to link to some of the legends of the game to see what they did and how the game has changed - or not.
So since Duke’s Tre Jones has been nominated for the Cousy Award, given annually to the nation’s best point guard, we thought it was a good time to take a look at how the Cooz played the game.
When you first start watching this you’re like to think well, there’s no way he could play today and that’s probably true in some respects. First, he’s small and not blindingly fast and second, ball handling has evolved phenomenally since he was the best ball handler in the league.
Watch a little more though and you’ll see something interesting. The more you watch him, the more you’ll see a smaller Larry Bird. He
makes sees passes that only a handful of players could see, much less have the nerve to attempt. His court vision is phenomenal. You can talk about ball handling evolving and the impact of modern training methods, diet and equipment. All that stuff has been long since revolutionized.
What never changes though is having a sense of the game, where the moving pieces are or will be and Cousy, like Bird, clearly knew where everyone was regardless of whether they were behind him or whether his back was turned or probably if his eyes were closed.
It’s a gift, a predator’s gift really, that very few athletes have. Or maybe that’s backwards. Maybe he’s escaping predators and has a brilliant sense of how to get away.
You can take either side of that argument but when you do, look at this and realize that, regardless of era and video quality, you’re seeing a guy who had a pure genius for passing. It’s really incredible to see some of this stuff and realize that almost all of it happened while Nikita Kruschev was running the USSR.