Recently JJ Redick got on a bit of a rant the other day and went after Bob Cousy, suggesting he couldn’t play today.
He’s probably right about that.
Cousy was smallish, not overly quick and would not translate to today’s game very well.
It’s funny though because so much of today’s game is in debt to Cousy. Put another way, he was way ahead of his time.
Check out these highlights. You’ll see here passes that show up later in Magic Johnson (the fake follow through misdirection) and the wraparound pass that Scott Skiles later humiliated Georgetown with.
Part of him is, without question, rooted in the ‘40s and ‘50s. You’ll note the push shot for one. The last guy we know who shot any sort of a set shot was John Lucas.
But his flair for passing? His still-astonishing court vision? It’s predictive.
Cousy retired in 1963. Pete Maravich started at LSU in 1966. You can draw the connections from there - Ernie Di Gregorio, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Florida’s Jason Williams.
You can see precursors for all of them in Cousy. He could not play in today’s game, but he choreographed much of what we see now decades ago.