NBA legend Jerry West couldn’t confirm before Former NBA player And ESPN analyst JJ Riddick said six-time NBA champion Bob Cousy played against “plumbers and firefighters.”
Redick made the comments in April when he was discussing with “First Take” panelist Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul.
“Let’s celebrate Bob Cousy in his era, but you can’t compare the pre-1980s to the modern NBA,” Riddick said.
“He was guarded by plumbers and firefighters,” Riddick continued, while Russo argued that Cosey “changed the game.”
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Now, West fires back, calling Riddick’s comments “disrespectful.”
“Obviously the game is completely different, and the athletes are completely different,” West said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “And I only know JJ a little bit. He’s a very smart kid and all, but tell me what his career is like? What has he done with these crucial games? He averaged 12 points per game in the league. Somewhere along the way, it’s numbers.”
“The only reason I’m talking about is that he wasn’t a top player, but he was a very good player. But he had a place in a team because of his ability to shoot the ball.”
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West’s NBA career coincided with Cousy’s for a few years, as West played for 14 years from 1960 to 1974. Cosey played from 1950 to 1963 before retiring for six years. He returned during the 1969-1970 season, appearing in seven games for the Cincinnati Royals. Cousy won six tournaments as a Boston Celtics team member He was named the All-NBA First Team 10 times.
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“In our time, I was an athlete before my team,” West continued. “I had a big head and probably no one in the league was much faster than me. And for sure the competitive part of it, I would put myself among any players who played the game today too. Winning is all that matters. That’s what drove me and suddenly it got better every year, we didn’t have The facilities are getting better, and we had to work in the summer to support our families.
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“JJ should be very thankful that he made so much money. And Bob Cousy, whom I played against for two years…I think it’s very sad.”
The 15-year-old Redick played in the NBA for six teams and averaged 12.8 points per game.