Better Dead than ‘Red’, Flashback — When Bob Cousy Demanded Boston Celtics Trade Him or Fire Auerbach



Bob Cousy in action, (C) NBA/Celtics (photo by Heritage Werks), from bostoncelticshistory.com.
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It was 1956 and Bob Cousy had had enough and Red Auerbach, the Head Coach and General Manager of the Boston Celtics, had gotten on his last nerve. Losing in the Semi-Finals or Finals of the NBA’s Eastern Division for 6 straight years also wasn’t sitting well with him and it was time for a change. Cousy arranged a meeting with majority owner Walter A. Brown, and minority owner Lou Pieri was also in attendance, during which Bob demanded to either be traded or for Auerbach to be fired. His demand was rejected and he ended up honoring his contract. Ultimately he completed 13 seasons in ‘Celtic green’ and white, winning 6 championships (in his last 7 seasons) along the way.

Actually that demand never happened, as far as I know. Robert Joseph “Bob” Cousy and Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach likely had their share of issues, but they dealt with them like adults. Flash forward to 2022 and Brooklyn, NY, where we JUST saw Kevin Durant (who is making an average of $48,554,830 each year for the next 4 years) demand that the GM Sean Marks and HC Steve Nash of the Nets be fired or he wants to be traded. So he is telling a BILLIONAIRE (Nets owner Joseph Tsai) how to run his own business. He even FLEW to London, UK, to do so. As if he has never heard of Zoom, or Skype, or a phone. The nerve…and what a baby. Kevin needs to be a man and honor his contract, for whichever team holds it (including the one he signed it with).

“Red Auerbach was instrumental in each of the sixteen Celtics championship banners that hung in the old Boston Garden. Since 1950, his teams played on the storied parquet floor. As the Celtics time in Boston Garden was drawing to a close, there was a sense of urgency to bring these four elements, Red, the parquet, the banners, and the Garden – Together in one historic photograph. This photograph by Steve Lipofsky was the result. It represents the essence of the Boston Celtics.” from basketballphoto.com.

We also saw these Tweets happen April 20, 2022:
“[Bob Cousy] had 29 assists in an NBA game.” – Chris Russo
“Well, he was being guarded by plumbers and firemen” – JJ Redick
I have no idea who Russo is, but JJ is a former NBA player.

Then a bunch of asshats laughed it up at Cousy’s expense, verbally slapping Redick on the back. Cousy defended himself quite well against JJ’s attack, and other NBA legends also jumped in. We at the Shed just want to point out that the NBA has ALWAYS had the best basketball players in the world and that didn’t change because they had a job in the offseason. Those “plumbers and firemen” guarding Cousy were playing against a driving school instructor who also co-owned some gas stations JJ, you piece of shit.

The population of the USA in 1950 (Bob’s rookie year) was 151,325,798 so the pool of people to draw players from was much lower (versus 332,403,650 as of January 1, 2022) PLUS today the NBA draws players from all over the world (and global population will exceed 8 BILLION in November 2022). In 1955 American men 25-29 averaged 5’9.5″, for the record.

Redick and Cousy, Tweet from NBA on ESPN, May 21, 2022.

Cousy actually almost never played in the NBA because he wanted $10,000 and the team that drafted him (Tri-Cities Blackhawks) said they would only pay him $6,000. In addition to what was mentioned above, Cousy was MVP once, 13x All-Star, 2x All-Star MVP, 10x All-NBA First Team and 2x Second Team, 8x assists leader and many more (including being an NCAA champion). Not bad for a guy just 6’1″ when the average height his rookie year was almost 6’4″. Meanwhile Redick played for SIX teams and his awards are all from college and high school. So shut it JJ, and if you had played in Cousy’s era you wouldn’t have been a shooting guard. At 6’4″ you would have been at least a small forward (going up against other bigger, for then, guys).

Bob also played his first 4 seasons in NBA with no shot clock, and played his entire career without a 3-point line. Cousy retired at 34(!) then 7 seasons later when he was head coach of the Cincinnati Royals he actually came out of retirement as a player for 7 games (although he averaged just 4.9 minutes per game).

The condescension and lack of respect by Redick was astounding. And Durant is completely disrespecting the team owner, his teammates, the game and the fans. And to Ben Simmons, Durant’s new Nets teammate, it isn’t called ‘defense ball’. You actually have to shoot sometimes asshole. Yeah, I’m a 76er’s fan, so what…it is still true.

Durant, Getty Images via sportingnews.com; Kevin is just ‘scooping’ it, but compare this image to the one of Cousy at the top and notice Bob played in an era when your palm couldn’t face the sky when dribbling the ball.

One last fact: Bob Cousy was the greatest player in Chicago Stags history…who never actually played for them (you can look that situation up). By the way, today (August 9, 2022) is Bob Cousy’s 94th birthday. Happy Birthday sir, with respect!

Logo of Chicago Stags (1946-1950) via wikipedia, so all rights to the NBA.

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