Bob Cousy's name recently popped up on the headlines when JJ Redick dissed the Hall of Famer on First Take by stating that he was guarded by plumbers and firemen. Redick was trying to defend his ex-teammate, Chris Paul, and Cousy, unfortunately, caught some flak in the process.
He responded to those comments on SiriusXM radio by stating that "People With Less Talent Will Always Try To Make A Name For Themselves". Cousy went on to list some of the greats he played with and against and had some special praise for a certain Elgin Baylor:
“Still the best, in my judgment, small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor,” Cousy said.
Baylor is an often forgotten great of that era despite some incredible achievements during the course of his career, which began in 1958. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star and was voted into the All-NBA First Team on ten occasions as well. His arrival saved the Minneapolis Lakers from going bankrupt, and Baylor led a team that had finished with a 19-53 record in the 1957-58 season, to the NBA Finals in his rookie season.
They would lose ultimately to the Boston Celtics in the Finals, which would, unfortunately, be the case for the rest of Baylor's career. He would lead the Lakers to eight NBA Finals and lost all of them, with seven of those coming at the hands of the Celtics. He would retire nine games into the 1971-72 season and, in a cruel twist, the Lakers would go on to win the title that season.
Baylor ended his career averaging 27.4 points per game to go with 13.5 rebounds per game, with the highlight being the 1961-62 NBA season, where he averaged 38.3 points and 18.6 rebounds. Only one man has ever averaged more points per game in a single season (Wilt Chamberlain of course!) and Baylor deserves more recognition for his accomplishments. While unfortunate circumstances led to Cousy having to speak up for himself, it did at least bring some attention to an often forgotten NBA icon.