He was named as the greatest basketball player of the first half of the 20th century about 20 years ago. That's plenty, enough noteriety. Ever see film of him play? Scalabrine would score 60 a night in that league.
No way he sniffs top 10. I have 12 in my top 10 and haven't even gotten to a handful of other at his position who would embarrass him.
The league had good Centers by 1964-1965 on every team, 9 years through Russell's 13 year career.
Russell was the first really mobile Center, and probably the best passing Center of his era, not to mention playing ridiculous amounts of minutes, and grabbing big rebound totals.
He also was able to master Wilt well enough to keep the titles coming. Bill would eat dinner with Wilt the night before games - home and away for years. Bill studied him, and was certainly in Wilt's head. Wilt would have big games against Bill, yet just about always Bill would get the key block, rebound, or bucket to foil him again. On a physical level, Wilt was way superior to Bill. Bill has to get credit for scaling and conquering Wilt. Seriously.
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships."
- Michael Jordan
Thanks MJ-Bulls for the picture.
Accolades? He won an NCAA MVP in College and went on to win 5 League MVP's in the NBA. (He would have also won ROY if he played the full yr).
Winning? He won Back to back NCAA Titles winning 55 straight once. In the NBA? He won 11 titles in his 13 yr NBA career (One of the times he didn't win it was due to injury in game 2 of the finals one yr and didn't play again). Thats basically 11 titles in 12 yrs..including college? Its 13 titles in 14 yrs.
Here's some FACTS
* Russell is the ONLY member of those 11 title teams during that 13 yr stretch
* The 2 longest losing streaks of that whole era, was when Russell went down with injury
* The Celtics went from Winning there 11th title in 13 yrs in '69 to missing the playoffs the following year.
Here's some comments from Former NBA players and NBA Coaches
"He’s the guy who whipped us psychologically. Russell has our club worrying every second. Every one of the five men is thinking Russell is covering him on every play. He blocks a shot, and before you know it, Boston is getting a basket, and a play by Russell has done it.” - Kundla
“We don’t fear the Celtics without Bill Russell. Take him out and we can beat them"- Kundla
“The Celtics can thank the Good Lord for Bill Russell.” - Schayes
“If I had a choice of any basketball player in the league,” Lakers guard Jerry West would say after losing a fifth Finals series to Boston in 1968, “my No.1 choice has to be Bill Russell. Bill Russell never ceases to amaze me.” - Jerry west
Its laughable when people don't put him in there top 5..Not in the top 10? Well thats 100% ignorance.
The Celts transition from winning Russell's last title to the following season has to do with a lot more than Russell's retirement.
The Celts didn't have any/much at back-up C his whole career. The Bucks losing Jabbar, or Rockets losing Hakeem would have had a similar effect in losing streaks.
In 1966-1967 Wilt dominated Russell for the title, Russell had 4 points in the final game of 5 game series beat down.
You are spreading misinformation on 1957-1958. Russell played the first 2 games of that Series without incident (1-1), and then played half of game 3 - a loss (game tied at 49 when he was hurt), then came back and played in game 6 - also a loss. Not the two games and out as you claim. Russell playing in games that the Celts went 1-3 in seems to point to the fact that he was involved enough to be seen as having lost that title, and certainly tied in game 3 with a 1-1 record when hurt does not mean he was going to win that title - unless one is a doctrinaire Russell slobberer.
Of course as you have admitted before, titles in Russell's time were cheaper than after the ABA/NBA merger - both due to inferior competition, and less teams to contend with. Helped inestimably by Red's Coaching/GM'ing and the excellent team he had around him for the first 9 years of his career, that was still good enough with the addition of Bailey Howell to win the last two as Russell's vigor/output flagged.
Last edited by bagwell368; 01-09-2013 at 10:22 AM.
I do not, I've always considered him and the big O to be overrated but for opposite reasons. One had the team success but was incredibly one dimensional whereas the other had the numbers but they never translated over to leading a team successfully.
They are both top 20 players but neither are top 10 imo.
Sio Moore and David Bass fishin' for sacks in the Silver and Black