Bob Cousy Then and Now

By / July 7, 2024

Bob Cousy Then

Bob Cousy was born on August 9, 1928, in New York, New York, and grew up to become one of the most iconic figures in American basketball history.

His journey in the sport began to take shape during his collegiate years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he played from 1949 to 1950. 

Cousy quickly established himself as a standout player, earning recognition as an All-American. 

His exceptional ball-handling skills and strategic playmaking abilities hinted at the greatness he would achieve in the NBA.

bob cousy young
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Bob Cousy Career History

Bob Cousy’s professional career soared after he joined the Boston Celtics in 1950. 

Under the guidance of legendary coach Red Auerbach, Cousy flourished alongside other talented players such as Bill Russell, Bill Sharman, and K.C. Jones.

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He became known as the “Houdini of the Hardwood” for his dazzling dribbling techniques and innovative passing, including behind-the-back moves that captivated audiences. 

Beyond the flair of his play, Cousy was a formidable force on the court, leading the NBA in assists from 1953 to 1960 and setting a single-game record of 28 assists in 1959, a mark that stood until 1978.

After his playing career with the Celtics concluded in 1963, Cousy transitioned into coaching, first at Boston College from 1963 to 1969. He achieved success by guiding the team to five postseason tournaments.

Related Article: Larry Bird Then and Now

bob cousy career stats
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His return to professional basketball as both coach and player with the Cincinnati Royals (later Kansas City–Omaha Kings) further showcased his enduring passion for the game. 

Beyond coaching, Cousy served as commissioner of the American Soccer League and later found success as a marketing consultant and part-time television commentator for the Celtics.

Bob Cousy’s contributions to basketball were widely recognized, culminating in his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970.

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In 1996, he was honored as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all time, a testament to his lasting impact on the sport. 

His achievements extended beyond basketball, as evidenced by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019, acknowledging his significant cultural and sporting contributions to the nation.

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Bob Cousy Height

Bob Cousy stands at a height of 1.85 meters (6 feet 1 inch), a stature that complemented his agile and skillful play as a renowned basketball player in the NBA.

Bob Cousy Wife

Bob Cousy married his college sweetheart, Missie Ritterbusch, in December 1950, shortly after his graduation from the College of the Holy Cross. 

They settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Cousy began his professional basketball career with the Boston Celtics.

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Over the years, they built a life together, raising two daughters amidst Cousy’s demanding schedule as a prominent NBA player and later as a coach.

In September 2013, tragedy struck the Cousy family when Missie Ritterbusch passed away after battling dementia for several years. Her death marked the end of a loving partnership that spanned over six decades. 

Throughout their marriage, Cousy and Missie supported each other through the highs and lows of life, including the demands of his basketball career and later endeavors in coaching and sports administration.

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Her struggle with dementia brought significant challenges to the family, underscoring the impact of her loss on Cousy and their daughters.

Despite the personal challenges faced, Bob Cousy’s dedication to his family and his enduring love for Missie remained a constant in his life. 

Their marriage exemplified resilience and commitment, navigating the complexities of fame and personal struggles with grace.

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Cousy’s public achievements on the basketball court and in sports administration were complemented by the private strength he drew from his family life. 

Missie’s memory continues to be cherished by Cousy and their daughters, reflecting a legacy of love that transcends his celebrated career in basketball.

Related Article: Nate Archibald Then and Now

Bob Cousy Now

bob cousy age
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At 95 years old, Bob Cousy remains a revered figure in the world of basketball, celebrated for his pioneering contributions as both a player and a coach. 

As an American former professional basketball player, Cousy’s legacy is firmly rooted in his illustrious career with the Boston Celtics, where he earned acclaim as one of the greatest ball-handling guards in NBA history. 

Known for his exceptional dribbling skills and innovative playmaking abilities, Cousy set the standard for future generations of basketball players.

Beyond his playing days, Cousy transitioned into coaching, guiding teams like Boston College and the Cincinnati Royals (later the Kansas City–Omaha Kings). 

His coaching tenure reflected his deep understanding of the game and his commitment to fostering talent.

Today, Bob Cousy’s impact on basketball endures through his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970 and his recognition as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996. 

Despite retiring from active coaching and commentary roles, Cousy’s influence remains palpable, with his insights and achievements continuing to inspire and shape the sport. 

His net worth, estimated at $3 million, underscores his enduring legacy and the lasting value of his contributions to basketball and sports culture at large.


How good was Bob Cousy?

Bob Cousy was exceptionally good, renowned for his exceptional ball-handling skills, playmaking ability, and leadership on the court.

He revolutionized the point guard position with his innovative passing and dribbling techniques, earning him the nickname “Houdini of the Hardwood.”

Cousy’s career accolades include being an NBA champion, 13-time NBA All-Star, and leading the league in assists for eight consecutive seasons.

His impact on the game of basketball was profound, setting a standard for future generations of players.

Why did Bob Cousy retire?

Bob Cousy retired from professional basketball in 1963 after a highly successful career with the Boston Celtics.

At the age of 34, he felt he had accomplished all he could in the sport, having won multiple championships and achieved numerous personal accolades.

Cousy transitioned into coaching and other endeavors, contributing his knowledge and passion for basketball in different roles.

How many MVPs does Bob Cousy have?

Bob Cousy won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award once in his career, in 1957.

What was Bob Cousy known for?

Bob Cousy was known for his exceptional ball-handling skills, innovative passing techniques, and leadership on the basketball court.

His style of play revolutionized the point guard position and set a standard for future generations of players.

Who is the oldest living Boston Celtics?

As of my last update, the oldest living Boston Celtics player was Tom Heinsohn, who passed away in 2020.

The title of the oldest living Boston Celtics player may have changed since then.

Who is the oldest living basketball player?

The title of the oldest living basketball player can vary over time.

As of my last update, the oldest living basketball player was thought to be Nat Hickey, who played in the 1920s and passed away in 1979 at the age of 98.

However, this information may have changed since then.

Could Bob Cousy play today?

Bob Cousy’s skills and basketball IQ were exceptional for his era, and he was considered one of the best players of his time.

While the style of play and athleticism in the NBA has evolved significantly since Cousy’s playing days, his fundamental skills and basketball intelligence would likely still translate well in today’s game.

His innovative passing and court vision would certainly make him a valuable asset to any team.

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