Bob Cousy is an all-time great point guard, who was one of the early legends of the sport. There's no doubt that he did a lot to advance the game, and he has definitely made his mark on NBA history.
Despite what he managed to do in his career, some people disrespect Bob Cousy because they think that he didn't play in a competitive basketball era. One of those people was JJ Redick, who claimed that Bob Cousy was "being guarded by plumbers and firemen":
"Did Bob Cousy ever shoot over 40% from the field as a player? Did he ever shoot over 40%? Not once. He was being guarded by plumbers and firemen. If you say Bob Cousy is the best point guard ever..."
Recently, Bob Cousy actually responded to JJ Redick's comments about him being defended by "plumbers and firemen". Cousy suggested that Redick was trying to "make a name" for himself, and also listed off some all-time greats that he played against to push back against the idea that he played against subpar competition:
People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves, by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention... When you respond to somehting like this, you play into their hands. I won't do that. But I will defend the firemen and the plumbers that he referenced.
I'll just give you a few of their names... that I played with and against. How about Bill Russell... Wilt Chambrlain, I guess he must have fought fires as well... the best small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor... My colleague who also had an award created, guy named Oscar Robertson, who was pound for pount the best player, perhaps in the game. Jerry West wasn't too shabby... I could go on and on. We must have had the best firemen and plumbers on the planet at the time.
There's no doubt that Bob Cousy was a fantastic player during his era. He was clearly someone that was talented at basketball, and there's no doubt that he played against some other fantastic players as well.
Of course, basketball always evolves. Players as a whole generally get better as the game changes. However, that doesn't mean that players of generations past like Bob Cousy were "firemen and plumbers" as JJ Redick suggested.