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Bob Cousy dishes on his Presidential Medal of Freedom

Celtics, Bob Cousy

Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month. Cousy, who recently turned 91, spoke on how he was told he would be receiving the medal and what it meant to him:

“The President called me last Dec. 3, with he and Joe having lunch together at the White House. Joe had given him my portfolio and, despite the fact it was kind of Democratically tinged, he obviously thought it had merit and he offered me the medal to be given in April. I obviously accepted — we had a nice 15-minute dialogue — and I did say, ‘Mr. President, I am flattered by you calling personally. But I told Joe a year ago I’d refuse to accept this award posthumously.’ He laughed at that and said, ‘I’m going to do it again in April and you’re the first one I’m inviting’. I’ve taken this occasion to do a few interviews because this came out of the blue, and it’s very meaningful coming at this age. It’s a completion of a life’s circle for me, and it’s not necessarily related to sports.”

Besides being a six-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star, Cousy was an excellent ambassador for the NBA off the court as well.

He formed the NBA Players Asociation, which gave players benefits, insurance, and fair wages. He also was one of the first players to really popularize basketball, making it popular enough to rival baseball and giving it the foundation to even surpass it today.

Cousy is one of the NBA’s most influential players in history, and well-deserving of the medal he will receive in just a few weeks.