On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Hall of Fame big man Dave Cowens. They discuss his dominant NBA career, his stint as the Boston Celtics’ player/coach, the game’s evolution, today’s stars, whether retired players get the respect they deserve and more. Time-stamps are below!
1:25: Dave was the last person to be a player/coach in the NBA, serving in that role for the Boston Celtics in the 1978-79. He discusses that experience and how challenging it was.
4:40: After his playing days ended, Dave became a full-time coach. He discusses whether his stint as a player/coach helped him and what it was like transitioning to coaching.
6:05: Cowens was a fan favorite with the Celtics and his style of play and work ethic really resonated with Bostonians. He discusses the immense fan support he received.
7:35: Considering everything Danny Ainge accomplished as a player and now as general manager, where does he rank among Celtics’ greats and what will his legacy be?
10:00: Cowens caught up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar moments before sitting down with HoopsHype. He reminisces about playing against Kareem and explains what made him so difficult to face.
11:55: Cowens is about 6-foot-9, yet he matched up against bigs who were much taller than him (like Kareem, for example). He talks about how he would make up the height difference.
13:20: In today’s NBA, teams shoot a ton of three-pointers, play at a very fast pace and efficiency is prioritized (which has led to very few mid-range shots). Cowens weighs in on the evolution of the sport.
15:55: Cowens is one of only five players in NBA history who led his team in all five major statistical categories for a season: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. The only other players to do this were Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. He discusses this feat and jokes that his supporting cast must have been awful.
17:00: A fun trivia fact is that Cowens was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1973, but he wasn’t selected to the All-NBA First Team (thanks to Kareem). He discusses what that was like and how he reacted to the news.
18:15: Cowens shares some of today’s NBA stars whom he enjoys watching.
19:20: How do today’s players treat their retired peers? How knowledgeable are they when it comes to their predecessors and do former players get the respect they deserve?
23:00: Cowens worked several summer jobs throughout the course of his NBA playing days. He shares his offseason jobs and reacts to today’s enormous NBA contracts.
25:40: Are there any current players who remind Cowens of himself?
27:45: Some people describe Golden State Warriors supporters as “bandwagon fans,” but they were known for having some of the most loyal fans long before their recent success. Cowens was an assistant coach for the Warriors for a bit and he shares his thoughts on the Bay Area fans.
28:50: Cowens shares his thoughts on superstars teaming up.
This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek! Be sure to download the Seat Geek app (or visit their website) and enter the promo code HOOPSHYPE for $10 off your first ticket purchase!