YouTube Finds: Dave Cowens Highlights

Reading The Book of Basketball made me remember my dad telling me about how awesome Dave Cowens was, which in turn prompted me to find some highlights:

More after the jump…

Now, you’re Hubie Brown. You want to summarize Dave Cowens’ career on the NBA At 50 CD-ROM. You also need to emphasize Cowens’ hustle and grit in a 1-minute-long clip. How do you do it? Learn from the master:

About Neil Paine

I work for I've been a freelance writer for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and Basketball Prospectus.

Posted on October 30, 2009, in YouTube Finds. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Now you’re Neil Paine, and you’ve got to get in a Hubie Brown impression. So how do you do that? You switch to the second person and kick it over to the video. Now that’s just smart, Dick!

  2. For all those who make the mistake of thinking that a player needs to be a giant to compete effectively at the Center position in the modern NBA game, there’s the prototypical example of Dave Cowens to turn that ridiculous notion upside down.

    Playing center well, in this league, is about so many more important attributes than just height.

    Through the 1970’s, undoubtably, Dave was one of the best Centers in the NBA.

  3. A top-ten center who doesn’t get nearly enough recognition; great rebounder, great passer, good shooter and defender.

    Watching old games of Cowens, I was struck by the fact that he could outrun and out jump everybody on the court. It annoys me now that people carry on about how “hard-working” he was (unlike those black players, wink, wink) and ignore the fact that he was super-athletic. Cowens “out-hustled” other centers because he was faster than all of them.

  4. Cowens really got off the ground, didn’t he? His hand is right up with the ball when he contests Kareem in some of those vids. I still think top-ten might be a bit much… in no order you’ve got to consider Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq, Hakeem, Robinson, Moses, Mikan… who am I forgetting? Anyway, you’ve probably only got a debate on the last couple of spots (until Dwight firmly claims one). Ewing? Walton? Cowens? Willis Reed? Gilmore? Parish? Do we consider Duncan? If so put him in the definite top 10. It’s a position crowded with all-time greats.

  5. Top 5: Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq, Hakeem
    6-10: Mikan, Moses, Robinson, Cowens, Ewing

    Cowens has the second highest rebound avg of any player from the last 40 years. Take away the 40 games he played in 83, and he has career avgs of 18.2 ppg, 14.0 rpg, and 3.9 apg over 10 years. Add in 2 championships, a 68 win season, a ROY and an MVP, and you’ve got top-10 center.

    Walton was healthy for what, 2 years? Reed had lesser stats playing in the same era. Gilmore’s dominance came in the ABA, not the ABA. Ewing was a better scorer, but doesn’t compare as a rebounder or passer. Parish had longevity, but was never dominant.

  6. To AYC

    So, to summarize Cowens, take everything you said about him and add the fact that he was a center who was capable of stealing the ball from Oscar Robertson. And yes, he could outrun and outjump most black players, but he also played like a madman as illustrated by the fact that he was burned out after playing 700 games and 28000 minutes. Just look at his career sheet — he was oft injured

    One thing Cowens doesn’t get enough credit for — he had great footwork and some unique moves in the low post, a la Hakeem Olajuwon. I lived in Phoenix and I remember how the Suns went on an Ahab like quest for a “big man” after losing to Boston in ’76 — signing up one big toad after another as they tried to purge the ghost of Dave Cowens. And the thing was, Cowens wasn’t really that big; he was just unique

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