During the 1950s, one of the NBA's best rivalries was that between two point guards who were New York City products: the Knicks' Dick McGuire and the Celtics' Bob Cousy. McGuire (who also played for and coached the Pistons) spent more than half a century in the New York organization as player, coach and scout. On Feb. 3 he died at age 84. Now 81, the Cooz pays tribute to his fellow Hall of Famer.
I remember playing with Dick in three-on-three games out in Rockaway, and I felt I related to him and his approach to the game more than any other point guard I had seen. Dick's mind-set when he crossed half-court was to create something wonderful for his teammates. He was a little insecure about his shooting, which was odd because he had a good stroke. I swear [coach] Joe Lapchick lost a lot of his hair trying to get Dick to shoot. But he always thought he could create something more positive for someone else.
Dick was a shy guy, someone who always had very little to say. And when he did, he mumbled. I thought it was strange that he was a coach because I have no idea how he communicated with his players.
We didn't talk a lot during our playing days. You don't have much to say to someone when your team is getting its ass kicked regularly, like the Knicks did to us early on. And after Bill Russell and Tommy Heinsohn came to Boston we started whipping them, and I guess he didn't want to talk to me. But we became great friends. We used to travel to the Catskills with our wives every year to play in the Maurice Stokes charity game, and when we got too old to play, we played in the golf tournament. I read a lot about overpaid prima donnas. Dick was the opposite of that. He was a gentleman. He was one of the boys.