NBA legend Bill Russell – Bill Russell, the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s, passed away on Sunday. He was the ultimate NBA champion, one of basketball’s best players, a perfect teammate, and a voice for social justice. He was 88.
NBA legend Bill Russell, who won 11 NBA titles with the Boston
William Felton Russell had one goal when playing basketball: to win. And he did everything necessary to do it, including scoring, grabbing rebounds, passing, and defending.
Russell had the best winning record. With the Celtics, he won 11 championships, including eight straight. Before 1969, there was no MVP of the Finals. Today, he gets honoured with the Finals MVP award.
At the 2014 installation of his monument at Boston’s City Hall, Russell noted, “I played a team game, and the only significant statistic was who won the game.
So, I’d always give my teammates a big thank you for allowing me assist them win championships. There are some accomplishments of mine.
For instance, I never had the most points for the Celtics. You should be the team’s leading scorer, I overheard players from rival teams saying. So I would check the whereabouts of their crew.
The final score is the only significant statistic when playing a team sport. Even though I could have four points some nights, it wouldn’t matter if we won the game.
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He “died away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, at his side,” according to a tweet announcing his death.
the passing of Bill Russell of the Celtics causes shock in the basketball world
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“Bill Russell was the greatest winner in team sports history, “Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, issued a statement.
“The numerous honours Bill received after his illustrious career with the Boston Celtics, which included a record 11 titles and five MVP awards, hardly scratch the surface of his profound influence on our league and society at large.
Bill was the quintessential team player and winner, and his impact on the NBA will last forever.
From 1957 until 1969, the Celtics became a dynasty thanks to Russell’s competitiveness. With point guard Bob Cousy leading the league in assists and a fast-paced style of play, the club had been competitive for five seasons. But it was Russell’s acquisition that made them champs.
Russell, who stands 6 feet 9 inches tall, is slim, quick, and focused on defence and rebounding for the Celtics. When he successfully blocked a shot or secured a defensive rebound, he instantly passed to Cousy to initiate a run that resulted in simple baskets. Because of Russell’s dominance inside, Boston created and honed this technique.
When he retired, Russell remarked, “To me, one of the most beautiful things to watch is a group of guys coordinating their efforts toward a single objective, alternately subordinating and asserting themselves to accomplish true collaboration in action.” “On the Celtics, my team and I both attempted to achieve that. We probably had success.”
Russell altered how clubs approached defence. He could come across the lane to block shots or abandon his man to pursue a player who was driving on offence.
Because they knew they had him in the centre, his Celtics colleagues started acting more aggressively outside of the paint because of how excellent he was.
Russell told USA TODAY, “Coach Red Auerbach stated he didn’t know what I was doing when I started playing because he had never seen anything like it.” “I disobeyed every rule. I went from offensive to defence.
He was (the opposite) of what everyone else was. He observed things I did, and after understanding them, he incorporated them into his thinking. We were educating one another.”
For his entire career, Russell averaged 22.5 rebounds and 15.1 points. He was renowned for outlasting fellow big man Wilt Chamberlain in most of their face-offs in the 1960s.
Even though Chamberlain consistently put up greater stats, Russell’s side typically won.
In the 1960 and 1962 playoffs, Russell and the Celtics defeated Chamberlain’s Philadelphia Warriors. In the 1964 finals, they defeated the San Francisco Warriors. In the 1965, 1966, and 1968 playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers. In the 1969 finals, they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers.
The lone playoff game Chamberlain won over Russell came with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967.
Russell became the first black man to lead an NBA franchise and a major sports league after Auerbach retired following the 1966 season. He has a 162-83 record in three seasons as a coach and two titles to his credit.
Russell was one of the few athletes of the 1950s and 1960s to speak out against racism. In 1961, he and his teammates were turned away from a local cafe and were unable to participate in an exhibition game that was being held in Lexington, Kentucky.
In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his well-known “I Have a Dream” address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and he took part in the March on Washington.
He backed Muhammad Ali’s decision to not be drafted in 1967, along with other well-known sportsmen of the day, as a member of the Black Power movement.
After vandals broke into his home in the late 1960s, he developed a chilly relationship with the city of Boston, referring to it as a “flea market of prejudice,” and he declined to attend a ceremony when his jersey was retired in 1972.
In the early 2000s, there was a reconciliation, and in 2013, the city dedicated a statue to him at City Hall Plaza.
Russell is one of only four NBA players who have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA title, and an NBA championship.
At the University of San Francisco, he won two collegiate championships (1955 and 1956), as well as the gold medal in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.
He was a 12-time All-Star and five times the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
Russell’s Celtics colleague Don Nelson famously remarked that “there are two sorts of superstars.” “One enhances his own appearance at the expense of the other men on the floor. However, there is another kind of player—Russell was one of them—who makes others around him appear more talented than they actually are.”