Cowens remains today one of the NBA's all-time overachievement, high intensity stories. After a Kentucky high school career, the 6' 9 245-pounder starred at Florida. An excellent athlete with a big motor, Cowens simply out-hustled bigger opposing centers, drawing the attention of Red Auerbach, who had the famed Boston Celtics in a rebuilding mode. It was said to be Captain and star John Havlicek who suggested Cowens for the Celtics starting center spot based on his outstanding practice play against bigger Henry Finkel and Jim Ard. Cowens soared to Rookie Of The Year status, sharing the award with Portland scorer Geoff Petrie. The Celtics later added Paul Silas and guards JoJo White and Don Chaney. Boston then roared to a 68-win season. In the 1973-74 campaign, Cowens out-hustled superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to lead Boston to the first of two NBA rings he earned. He was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player. In 1975-76, Cowens again led a NBA champion. Cowens offensive game was remarkable in that slashing past slower centers was a big part of his arsenal. His tireless energy wore centers out all over the league. A rugged rebounder and surprising shot blocker, Cowens rarely conceded anything in an era of talented NBA seven-footers. He was later inducted in the Hall Of Fame and named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players.



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Dave Cowens

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