By making Bob Cousy just the fourth former NBA player to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Trump also made clear he is a big fan of the Boston Celtics legend.
And the Hall of Famer was quick to return the favor, calling Trump “the most extraordinary president of my lifetime.” Cousy, who was born in 1928, added that’s saying something because he’s a “BR’r” -- as in born before President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“Mr. President, I know in your world you’re well on your way to making America great again,” Cousy said at a White House ceremony on Thursday. “In my world, it’s been great for 91 years.”
That last sentence was a nod to the fact that the vast majority of Cousy’s remarks were not political. Cousy knows his parents, who emigrated from France, could never have imagined their son would get the nation’s highest civilian honor. He was born on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which is now swanky but was a “slum” with rats running wild and no running water in the family apartment during Cousy's childhood.