Historian, journalist, and Stanford University lecturer Pomerantz offers a portrait of Bob Cousy, the Hall of Fame Boston Celtics captain who led the team to its first six championships. At 90, Cousy looks back with regret about failing to adequately defend his teammate Bill Russell, who faced intense racism despite the fact that he was crucial in driving the Celtics to glory.
The Last Pass is a remarkable and fascinating portrait of Bob Cousy, his family, and the Boston Celtics Dynasty ... For those seeking a recounting of these early years of the Celtics dynasty, there are ample game descriptions, especially the playoff struggles for the five NBA titles ... Some may find Cousy’s obsession with his relationship with Russell overdone, but the repetition does drive the point home. In the end, Pomerantz has created a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of a superstar athlete whose human sensitivities are on display and whose complexities are laid bare. Along the way Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, and three generations of the Cousy family, fill in many of the details of a long and fruitful life. In short, this is a moving story of a public man and his private doubts whose long life and self-examination should be an inspiration to all.
Pomerantz explores the complicated relationship between [Bill] Russell and Cousy, both superstars but playing in a world where pervasive racism diminished the contributions of one man while elevating those of another. Cousy sees this dynamic now in a way he didn’t then, and his reflections on what happened to Russell and the inadequacy of Cousy’s response drive this poignant memoir, the lessons from which extend far beyond sport.
Journalist and historian Pomerantz...delivers a sturdy work at the intersection of sports history and race relations ... The author’s reportage and research are thoroughly up to the stuff of the standard sports biography, but the narrative acquires its greatest force when, long after the events described, Cousy expresses regret that he didn’t do more to support Russell ... A moving, maddening look at a storied partnership that might have been a beautiful friendship as well.