New York Knicks: 10 best No. 3 picks in NBA Draft history

Bulls Michael Jordan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bulls Michael Jordan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images) /

2. Bob Cousy, 1950

Slash Line: .375/.803
Career Averages: 18.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.5 APG

As the years move forward, players from the original NBA will drift into the distant past. It was a different game in the 1950s, when the three-point shot was decades away, the level of athleticism hardly matched the current game and percentages and gaudy numbers were not as high.

Leading that pack was Bob Cousy, one of the NBA’s greatest point guards. He went third overall in the 1950 NBA Draft, which featured George Yardley and Bill Sharman.

Cousy played well from the start and quickly transformed into one of the game’s best ball-handlers ever. He led the NBA in assists for eight consecutive years, topping out at 9.5 in 1959-60. While not considered the highest today, it was a landmark number for the earliest days of basketball and a chunk of it happened in Boston’s six title years.

Those ’50s and early ’60s teams were enhanced by Cousy. Granted, it helped playing with Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and Tom Heinsohn at certain points, but someone needed to dish them the ball, and they had one of the game’s top point guards to do so.

Cousy actually returned after six years or retirement to play seven games for the Cincinnati franchise. It was only in 4.9 minutes per contest, but also as a head coach.

While basketball has changed dramatically over the past six decades, Cousy still holds up as the top point guard then and among the best ever.