Monday , June 27 2022
'First Take' Should Start More Beef With 1950s Sports Stars

‘First Take’ Should Start More Beef With 1950s Sports Stars

Every time Chris “Mad Dog” Russo appears on First Take Wednesdays, younger viewers are treated to a rolodex of sports stars from the past. It’s part of the charm and, honestly, who doesn’t like hearing about a Rabbit Maranville or a Norm Van Lier from time to time? Russo tends to give the players of yore the edge against their current counterparts and last month he tried to use Bob Cousy as an example of what Chris Paul isn’t. J.J. Redick wasn’t having it, and noted that the Boston Celtics star’s exploits, including a 29-assist game, were perhaps aided by a general lack of athleticism among his competition.

“Well, he was being guarded by plumbers and firemen,” Redick quipped.

It was a funny moment but there was also something interesting about it. Because Russo’s reacted as though he’d never really heard this argument. That no one had ever pointed out that Cousy played with a belt and never shot 40 percent in a single-season despite being guarded by someone who had a second job at a car repair shop on off-days. Redick chose to compare to our brave first responders, which is playing with fire, but certainly hammered his point home.

That seemed like the end of it until yesterday, when 93-year-old Cousy clapped back. Normally, I despise that phrase. Not in this case, though, because how many chances does someone get to say the Houdini of the Hardwood clapped back? Not too many.



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