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Friday, May 7, 2010
The Big One

By Chris Forsberg

When Boston basketball legend Bob Cousy watches today's Celtics, one player gets particular praise and attention -- the one who's shattering his old records. From ESPN Boston's Peter May:

DobbsPeople talk about the Big Three. But this is the Big One. The sky is the limit as far as I can see.

-- Celtics legend Bob Cousy on Rondo
Yes, the Cooz is impressed. What else do you need to know?

Bob Cousy is, like most everyone else, enthralled by the play of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Unlike most everyone else, Cousy's opinion matters. On the Mount Rushmore of NBA point guards, the Cooz has a place ad infinitum. Having him praise your work as a point guard is akin to Bill Gates praising your understanding of computer software.

"I've been watching the Celtics for the last 50 years,'' said Cousy, who retired in 1963 but made a brief, forgettable comeback as a player-coach with Omaha-Kansas City in 1969. "And Rondo is the first point guard since moi that I've been really excited about. Bird excited you, but he wasn't a point guard. JoJo [White] wasn't a point guard. He's the first since moi to get my attention."

There have been some pretty good point guards in the years since Cousy left and Rondo arrived. Two of them, Nate Archibald and Dennis Johnson, are Hall of Famers. But what Cousy sees in Rondo is a versatility that few have had at the position.

Rondo led the NBA in steals this season. No Celtic had ever done that. Right now, he leads the NBA in assists during the playoffs, more than one assist per game ahead of Deron Williams and more than two a game ahead of Steve Nash. Rondo recently was named to the NBA's all-defensive first team.

"What more can this kid do? He sees the floor extremely well,'' Cousy said. "He's even starting to put what my old coach, Doggie Julian, would call a little French pastry on a play, going behind the back. The kid is only 24. People talk about the Big Three. But this is the Big One. The sky is the limit as far as I can see."

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