Not much to compare here right? Cousy won six championships as the point guard for the Boston Celtics during the first and most dominant dynasty in sports history. His success can be credited in large part to playing with a Top 10 player of all-time in Bill Russell and arguably the best coach in sports history, Red Auerbach. Nothing should be taken away from Cousy in the playoffs as he was a major contributor to numerous titles, averaging 18.5 PPG, 8.6 APG, and 5 RPG over 109 games.
For Nash, history will show he always knocked on the door, but never at the right time. He was a part of both Mavericks and Suns teams that reached four Western Conference Finals and lost to the eventual champions three of those times. In the playoffs Nash was no slouch, averaging 17.3 PPG and 8.9 APG throughout 118 games to date.
When you look back at the the 1950s and the 1960s, history will show you that Cousy was a Top 6 player during that 20-year period. It is a much smaller sample as far as players are concerned, but Cousy has his name firmly next to Jerry West (the NBA Logo), Wilt Chamberlain (retired as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer), Bill Russell (Finals MVP trophy name) and Oscar Robertson (Mr. Triple-Double). That is company worth keeping.
Nash will be known for two major aspects of his game and both play a part in why his team’s offense is nearly always ranked number one in the league. First, he is an elite all-around shooter. For his career he is currently seventh all-time in three point shooting, first in free throw shooting and is a steady 48.9% from the field. Those numbers combine to make Nash the best shooter in basketball history, especially when you factor in the volume he shoots to keep his team winning. Second is the consistent proficiency he displayed running a team with his assists and play calling.
On one side, you have a player who held his own and became a legend against some of the best ever and in the other you have the greatest shooter and – it is debatable – the best passer ever. Not possible to lose either way here.
The Houdini of the Hardwood retired as the all-time leader in assists and stayed that way until Robertson passed him five seasons later. Since then, 13 players have surpassed him and numerous others are on track to pass him in the future. In his era he was “the point guard” and won at an alarming clip with the greatest dynasty in sports history.
It is easy to discredit Cousy for the company he kept, but they won. If he played with them and never won it would be easy to dismiss him as just another good player. Instead they won EIGHT championships in a row (Cousy was a part of six) and he became a legend. When Nash retires he will be near the top in numerous point guard categories and he will have had a stellar career, but Cousy did it first and is one of the all-time greats. In the end, Cousy edges out Nash 1-0-3 in the third battle of the point guards.
Some big names are missing and the best may have been saved for last in an ultimate point guard battle for the ages…
Which point guard would you take?
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