Bob Cousy: Hassan Whiteside first player to remind me of Bill Russell

Cousy lives in Worcester during the summer, but he winters in Florida so he watches his share of Heat games on television and he was impressed when Whiteside came off the bench to record a triple-double on Jan. 25 against the Bulls with 14 points, 13 rebounds and a franchise-record 12 blocks. “I have never said this in the 40 years since I retired,” Cousy said in a recent telephone interview, “but he is the first big guy, not (Patrick) Ewing, (Hakeem) Olajuwon, Shaq (O’Neal), who reminds me defensively and on the boards of Russell. He runs the floor well, he has excellent timing, he blocks shots and keeps them in play the way Russell did.”

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August 28, 2016 | 9:01 pm EDT Update
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“Out of respect, this is Dirk’s team,” Barnes said. “He’s put in the years and won a championship. But I have to go out and earn that. People assume that just because you get paid a lot of money and have a lot of attention that all of the sudden you’re guaranteed this many shots. I have to prove that every day in practice. I have to prove that to the coaching staff, and ultimately, if I’m going to be the guy taking shots, I’ve got to prove it to Dirk. You have to have that balance of scoring and playmaking, and learn how to be a closer. I think that’s the beauty of it, that I get to learn from one of the best to ever do it in Dirk Nowitzki. You talk about guys closing games, he’s got to be top-five all time. I’m just looking forward to learning from that guy.”
August 28, 2016 | 2:23 pm EDT Update
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