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Sports Illustrated

Bob Cousy Reacts to J.J. Redick’s One-Liner

Last month on ESPN’s First Take, former NBA star turned TV personality J.J. Redick argued that Chris Paul is a better point guard than legend Bob Cousy because the latter was guarded by “plumbers and firemen.”

During Cousy’s career on the Celtics from 1950 to ’63, it was common for his teammates and opponents to have second jobs. However, Redick was using this comment to express how the NBA has increased difficulty and intensity.

The 93-year-old Hall of Famer responded to Redick’s comments on SiriusXM NBA Radio this week.

“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,” Cousy said. “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.”

Cousy then went on to list some of his former teammates and opponents that guarded him during his career. A few legends he mentioned were Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robinson and Jerry West. Cousy joked that the hosts, Justin Termine and Eddie A. Johnson, may have heard of them.

“I could go on and on,” Cousy said. “We must’ve had the best firemen and plumbers on the planet at the time. I was very proud to play with all of them.”