Lifetime Achievement Award
By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe staff | November 8, 2016
There is a statue of Bob Cousy on the Holy Cross campus, an homage to his brilliant basketball career and a lifetime of community service and humanitarian efforts in greater Worcester.
On Nov. 14, the Globe will also recognize his life’s work when he receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Globies sports awards show.
Born in New York City, the son of poor French immigrants, the Cooz first came to our region as a freshman at Holy Cross in Worcester, where he was part of Holy Cross’s 1947 NCAA championship team.
Four years later, Celtics owner Walter Brown pulled Cousy’s name out of a hat at a dispersal draft, and that was the beginning of Cousy’s 13-year career with the Celtics.
Before LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Bill Russell, Cousy was the NBA’s first global superstar and its original point guard. He was the Houdini of the Hardwood, Mr. Basketball, and captain of the most dominant dynasty in the history of American sports. He was a 13-time All-Star, a six-time NBA champ, and league MVP in 1957.
He was the first president of the NBA Players Association and stood up to racism when the first African-American players came to the NBA in his rookie season.
The Cooz retired at the top of his game, dribbling out the clock against the Lakers at the Los Angeles Sports Arena to finish his career with one last championship in 1963.
He went on to coach the Cincinnati Royals and six seasons at Boston College before coming back to the Celtics as a color commentator.
Cousy, 88, never left Worcester, where he raised his two daughters with his wife, Missie, who died in 2013.
Veteran Boston sports fans remember the magic moment during Cousy’s retirement ceremony on St. Patrick’s Day at the old Boston Garden when a fan in the balcony broke a long pause by yelling, “We love ya, Cooz.’’
Still true today.