Throwback Thursday - Dave Cowens
David William Cowens, born October 25, 1948, at 6'9", he played the center and occasionally the power forward position.
Despite some critics who felt Cowens was too small to play center, Cowens was selected as the fourth overall pick by the Boston Celtics during the 1970 NBA Draft, largely at the recommendation of former Celtics center Bill Russell. During his rookie year, Cowens averaged 17.0 points per game and 15.0 rebounds per game, and shared the NBA's Rookie of the Year honors with Portland's Geoff Petrie. He also led the league in personal fouls that same year.
In 1973, Cowens averaged 20.5 ppg and 16.2 rpg while helping the Celtics to a league best 68-14 record. He was chosen the NBA MVP as well as MVP of the All-Star Game that same season. Cowens and fellow Celtic Bill Russell both have the distinction of being named MVP of the league but not being included on the All-NBA First Team that year.
Cowens retired in 1980, however, in 1982 he was coaxed out of retirement by the Milwaukee Bucks, who were then coached by his former Celtics teammate Don Nelson. The Celtics still held his rights at the time so the Bucks gave up Quinn Buckner as compensation. Cowens played for the Bucks during the 1982-83 season before retiring for good.
During his NBA career, Cowens averaged 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, was selected to seven All-Star Games, was named to the All-NBA Second Team three times, and was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team in 1976 and All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 1973 and 1980. He was a member of the Celtics' 1974 and 1976 NBA Championship teams.
Cowens' playing credo was all-out intensity at both ends of the court, a style that never wavered during his 11-year NBA career.
As a testament to his all-around ability, Cowens is one of only four players (Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James are the others) to lead his team in all five major statistical categories for a season: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He accomplished the feat in the 1977-78 season.