Sports and Faith Book 2: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout takes a Look at Bob Cousy and many other stars.
The Boston Celtics were not a very good basketball team before Bob Cousy arrived from Holy Cross in 1950. Cousy became the most beloved athlete in Boston. The “Houdini of the Hardwood” was a great ball-handler, passer, and shooter. He was only 6-foot-1, but he had speed and quickness, great peripheral vision, big hands, and long arms. He played for the Celtics from 1950-1963 and during that time he led the league in assists for eight years in a row and played in six championship seasons. His record breaking 28 assists in a single game that he set in 1959 held until 1978 when Kevin Porter got 29. He scored 16,960 points in his career—an average of 18.4 per game. He had 6,959 assists—an average of 7.5 per game. He averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and he held an .803 foul shooting percentage.
Cousy was an NBA All-Star every season he played and was named the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1954 and 1957. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1957. His play excited the Boston fans and the city developed a taste for the game. His 50 point performance in a playoff win against Syracuse in 1953 made an impression on fans that they simply never forgot. He went 30–32 at the free throw line and scored 12 points in the game’s fourth overtime period.
His behind the- back dribbling and passing punctuated his approach that was part showman, part street ball, but all explosive.