Cousy: His Life, Career, and the Birth of Big-Time Basketball

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9780743254762: Cousy: His Life, Career, and the Birth of Big-Time Basketball

A portrait of the mid-twentieth-century NBA star profiles him as the originator of "showtime basketball," tracing his impoverished childhood, early achievements with the Boston Celtics in 1950, record-breaking career, struggles with a debilitating fear of failure, and creation of key playing techniques. 40,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Bill Reynolds, coauthor of Success Is a Choice with Rick Pitino, has won numerous awards for his columns in The Providence Journal. The author of several books, including Fall River Dreams and Glory Days, he lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nicknamed the "Houdini of the Hardwood" by sportswriters during the 1950s, Bob Cousy was basketball's "first genuine superstar," as Providence Journal columnist Reynolds shows in this insightful, well-written biography. Cousy became a Hall of Fame member for originating such NBA staples as the behind-the-back dribble and the no-look pass, but most importantly because his enormous talent made the Boston Celtics the dominant team of the 1960s. Excellent chapters on Cousy's pro career explore his interactions with basketball legends like the gruff Celtics coach Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, the brilliant and enigmatic Celtics center who endured years of racism from many of the same Boston fans who cheered Cousy. Reynolds does a remarkable job illuminating the sport's early days in the 1940s, when three-time All-American Cousy became one of the biggest names in college hoops, and the NBA's first gritty years. But the book's best parts are those in which Reynolds illuminates how Cousy's impoverished 1930s youth in a Manhattan tenement and the constant tension between his parents created in him a drive to succeed that resulted in anxiety attacks, sleepwalking and a "raw, unadulterated, fear" of failure—all of which he hid from the public yet used to motivate himself and to maintain a social consciousness about racism that was unfortunately uncommon for his era.
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