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JasonJohnHorn
01-20-2016, 11:56 PM
Though I have respect for Jordan's game, as a Bad Boys fan from back in the day, I've always been a little less impressed with him than most. When I was younger, I'd always point to Russell's ring count as a sign that Jordan wasn't quite so dominant as people claimed.

However, when totalling their championship years, I think it is important to note the differences in the league.


Russell, for example, never had to beat more than 3 teams to win a ring in the post season, and several times only had to beat two.

Jordan, alternately, never defeat fewer than 4 teams to take a title.

That means that Jordan actually beat 24 teams to win 5 rings, one more than what Russell beat to win 11 rings.

Likewise, Jordan and the Bulls beat out 168 teams total for six rings, (27 teams for the first 3 and 29 teams for the second three), where as Russell only beat out field of 103 teams for his 11 rings, meaning Jordan had to outperform 65 more teams for 6 rings than did Russell for 11.


That said, Russell has the edge with total wins in championship years wit 98 to Jordan's 90, but if Jordan only had to beat as few teams as Russell did, he'd have won two additional rings (89 and 90 when the Bulls got to the conference finals).



Of course intergenerational comparisons will never be settled because things are so subjective, but still, it seems that winning 4 or 5 championships in the 90's was certainly as impressive as winning 11 in the 60's.

PowerHouse
01-21-2016, 12:25 AM
MJ's accomplishments are way above Russell's but a lot of people think that fewer teams to face in the 60s postseason meant a cakewalk. It did not. In those days there were fewer teams but that only meant every team in the league was much more highly concentrated with talent compared to the diluted league of today.

That being said, I still say MJ>>>Russell all day.

asandhu23
01-21-2016, 07:23 AM
Russell actually got very lucky in his career. He owes most of his success to Red. Red Auerbach was in the market for a dominant center to be the missing pieces for his Celtics. He was originally looking long term and told Wilt who was at Overbrook High School to go to Harvard so that he could draft him with territorial draft pick. Instead Wilt decided to go and learn under Phog Allen at Kansas. His second top choice was Russell who wasn't too good at offense but was insane at defense.

Same draft, Celtics also managed to end up with KC Jones and Tommy Heinsohn. Guys like Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman were already on the team. Celtics kept on acquiring future Hall of Famers like Havlicek, Risen, Andy Phillip, Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey, Tom Sanders, Bailey Howell.

Really worked out well for Russell and Red Auerbuch. Later on Red would help build the Bird era Celtics. Sigh. one of the teams he robbed in that era were my Warriors with the Robert Parish trade.


In fairness, I definitely think Jordan's rings mean more. Russell had starting lineups and backup players who would end up being Hall of Famers in their own right. No other teams were that stacked.

NYKalltheway
01-21-2016, 10:03 AM
It's funny how Russell's first 6 rings were received with Bob Cousy on the team, who was considered the GOAT until Jerry West and Oscar Robertson came to their prime... Yet Cousy is neglected in history. So are Havlicek, Heinsohn, Sam Jones and others. And they call the Celtics team stacked, but their level wasn't that superior of other NBA players at the time. It was a coach's game until the 80s to be fair. Teams were quite similar till the 70s in terms of quality.

That Celtics dynasty was 20% Cousy, 20% Russell and 60% team effort.

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 10:58 AM
It's funny how Russell's first 6 rings were received with Bob Cousy on the team, who was considered the GOAT until Jerry West and Oscar Robertson came to their prime... Yet Cousy is neglected in history. So are Havlicek, Heinsohn, Sam Jones and others. And they call the Celtics team stacked, but their level wasn't that superior of other NBA players at the time. It was a coach's game until the 80s to be fair. Teams were quite similar till the 70s in terms of quality.

That Celtics dynasty was 20% Cousy, 20% Russell and 60% team effort.


To be fair, Russell deserve more cred than Cousy. I LOVE Cousy, but he never won without Russell; Russell won without him: a lot.

Also, you say that it was a coaches game, and Russell did coach those last two title winning teams.


If you wanted to say 80% team, I'd get behind that, because that WAS a team in the truest sense, but I would certainly say Russell had more to do with their success than Cousy, though Cousy was obviously huge, both in terms of on court production in that era, and in terms how being a leader of the court in a desegregated league.

Hawkeye15
01-21-2016, 11:08 AM
Russell played on the most stacked team in history, in a time where there wasn't a lot of competition. Red was a genius.

Jordan's rings, and game, trump Russell's.

TheMightyHumph
01-21-2016, 04:56 PM
Russell was a smart, incredibly talented player, but his biggest contribution to most of those championship teams was that he was in Wilt's head.

NYKalltheway
01-21-2016, 07:24 PM
Russell played on the most stacked team in history, in a time where there wasn't a lot of competition. Red was a genius.

Jordan's rings, and game, trump Russell's.

The team is "stacked" because of results. If another team won, they'd be the "most stacked team in history".

It was just the signs of that era, teams didn't rely on 1 or 2 guys like they do since the mid 90s so any judgement using that mentality is clouded.

You know what other team was stacked at the time? The Lakers: Vern Mikelsen, Slater MArtin, Clyde Lovelette, Dick Garmaker, Walter Dukes...
Other teams had at least 2-3 HoF type of players too (eg the Hawks, in the late 50s) and more would get recognition had they had more luck, better coaching and maybe 1-2 reinforcements. Sure, the Celtics were stacked, but they weren't THAT much better in terms of quality from the rest.

We recognize the Celtics names because of their titles. Same way we ignore George Yardley for his lack of team success. Or Jack Twyman. Or guys with 1 ring in that era such as Graboski and Gola.
The Celtics have their titles due to their coach and their two main stars, Russell and Cousy. It's a team game. And it's a different era. There's no adjustment to it. Players had less chances to shine and pad their statline back then, no matter how many games there were. You don't see evidently different stats in most teams, even the crap ones didn't have the best guy with 30 while the second had 12 or something.

Not even Magic or Bird were on one-man teams and they're both top 6 of all time. And they saved the NBA, let's not forget that.

No one trumps on Russell (or even Cousy). There's no such thing. I do agree that Jordan > Russell, obviously, but there's no way I'm accepting the phrase you're using.

asandhu23
01-21-2016, 07:52 PM
Russell was a smart, incredibly talented player, but his biggest contribution to most of those championship teams was that he was in Wilt's head.

false. Wilt dominated Russell in every matchup. The better teams won. The one year Wilt had a comparable team, he won.

asandhu23
01-21-2016, 07:58 PM
It's funny how Russell's first 6 rings were received with Bob Cousy on the team, who was considered the GOAT until Jerry West and Oscar Robertson came to their prime... Yet Cousy is neglected in history. So are Havlicek, Heinsohn, Sam Jones and others. And they call the Celtics team stacked, but their level wasn't that superior of other NBA players at the time. It was a coach's game until the 80s to be fair. Teams were quite similar till the 70s in terms of quality.

That Celtics dynasty was 20% Cousy, 20% Russell and 60% team effort.

The Celtics were stacked. They got great players at the right time. Go through the rosters from 1955 to 1969.

TheMightyHumph
01-21-2016, 08:05 PM
false. Wilt dominated Russell in every matchup. The better teams won. The one year Wilt had a comparable team, he won.

Wow, that is a lie. Wilt won ONE playoff series vs. Russell. Tell me how Wilt dominated Russell in game #7 of the '68 ECF.

And that 'comparable team' that Wilt had that beat Russell's started Wali Jones at PG and Luke Jackson at PF. That was the year that Wilt was just not going to lose.

NYKalltheway
01-21-2016, 09:03 PM
The Celtics were stacked. They got great players at the right time. Go through the rosters from 1955 to 1969.

Go through the other teams too. Most of the Celtics are now considered greater than some of their peers just because they were Celtics. It was a proper dynasty that kept its core. Something that the salary cap restrictions in the later generations restricted.

KnicksorBust
01-21-2016, 09:11 PM
MJ's career > Russell

Russell's postseason success > MJ

valade16
01-21-2016, 09:38 PM
Go through the other teams too. Most of the Celtics are now considered greater than some of their peers just because they were Celtics. It was a proper dynasty that kept its core. Something that the salary cap restrictions in the later generations restricted.

Agreed. I highly doubt Frank Ramsey or KC Jones get in the HOF if they weren't on the Celtics.

numba1CHANGsta
01-21-2016, 11:08 PM
Comparing two players from two different era's is a lose-lose situation in trying to compare the two's accomplishments especially since they both played different positions. But the equivalence of Russell's 11 rings is about 6-7 to today's standards. So Jordan did pretty damn good.

asandhu23
01-23-2016, 09:39 PM
Wow, that is a lie. Wilt won ONE playoff series vs. Russell. Tell me how Wilt dominated Russell in game #7 of the '68 ECF.

And that 'comparable team' that Wilt had that beat Russell's started Wali Jones at PG and Luke Jackson at PF. That was the year that Wilt was just not going to lose.

Wilt was playing injured in the finals and the coach Butch van Breda Kolff benched him. Had fights with Wilt and eventually resigned at the end of the year.

TheMightyHumph
01-23-2016, 09:48 PM
Wilt was playing injured in the finals and the coach Butch van Breda Kolff benched him. Had fights with Wilt and eventually resigned at the end of the year.

'68 Finals Alex Hannum was Wilt's coach. Wilt was a Sixer.

asandhu23
01-23-2016, 09:53 PM
'68 Finals Alex Hannum was Wilt's coach. Wilt was a Sixer.

never mind. read that as 69. 68 was weird finals. If I remember correctly, the whole team did bad in those finals.


This is the interesting part on Wiki.


What followed was the first of three consecutive controversial and painful Game 7s in which Chamberlain played. In that Game 7, the Sixers could not get their act together: 15,202 stunned Philadelphia fans witnessed a historic 10096 defeat, making it the first time in NBA history a team lost a series after leading three games to one. Although Cherry points out that the Sixers shot badly (Hal Greer, Wali Jones, Chet Walker, Luke Jackson and Matt Guokas hit a combined 25 of 74 shots) and Chamberlain grabbed 34 rebounds and shot 4-of-9, the center himself scored only 14 points.[72] In the second half of Game 7, Chamberlain did not attempt a single shot from the field.[65] Cherry observes a strange pattern in that game: in a typical Sixers game, Chamberlain got the ball 60 times in the low post, but only 23 times in Game 7, and only seven times in the third and only twice in the fourth quarter.[72] Chamberlain later blamed coach Hannum for the lack of touches, a point which the coach conceded himself, but Cherry points out that Chamberlain, who always thought of himself as the best player of all time, should have been outspoken enough to demand the ball himself.[72] The loss meant that Chamberlain was now 16 in playoff series against the Celtics.

Outcoached? team ****ed up?

TheMightyHumph
01-23-2016, 10:25 PM
never mind. read that as 69. 68 was weird finals. If I remember correctly, the whole team did bad in those finals.


This is the interesting part on Wiki.


Outcoached? team ****ed up?

Damn, seems Wilt's teams were outcoached on a pretty consistent basis.

And this next statement is not a joke. The FBI investigated Wilt for game-rigging based on his performance in game #7 of the '68 ECF.

Hawkeye15
01-23-2016, 11:00 PM
The team is "stacked" because of results. If another team won, they'd be the "most stacked team in history". .

It is stacked because it was stacked. Why is that so hard to understand?

You didn't need to write a book to essentially agree with me. On no planet was Russell as good of an individual player as Jordan. That is a fact.

NYKalltheway
01-23-2016, 11:25 PM
It is stacked because it was stacked. Why is that so hard to understand?

You didn't need to write a book to essentially agree with me. On no planet was Russell as good of an individual player as Jordan. That is a fact.

The point is that it wasn't the only stacked team in that period, yet it's treated as if it was the only one.

Jordan being better than Russell is not really rocket science.

TheMightyHumph
01-23-2016, 11:36 PM
The point is that it wasn't the only stacked team in that period, yet it's treated as if it was the only one.

Jordan being better than Russell is not really rocket science.

I guess Jordan being better than Russell isn't a question.

The question is would Jordan's teams have beaten Russell's teams.

NYKalltheway
01-24-2016, 12:14 AM
I guess Jordan being better than Russell isn't a question.

The question is would Jordan's teams have beaten Russell's teams.

That's probably a better approach. I'd say it'd be very very close. I don't think anyone of Sam Jones, Havlicek, KC Jones or Nelson & Cousy would be in a position to stop Jordan while Pippen and Jordan could contain the Celtics wings to some extent. But the Celtics were more deep and had more quality in the paint. It'd be extremely close.

Would the 90s Bulls win 8-10 championships in the 60s? My answer is no.

TheMightyHumph
01-24-2016, 12:22 AM
That's probably a better approach. I'd say it'd be very very close. I don't think anyone of Sam Jones, Havlicek, KC Jones or Nelson & Cousy would be in a position to stop Jordan while Pippen and Jordan could contain the Celtics wings to some extent. But the Celtics were more deep and had more quality in the paint. It'd be extremely close.

Would the 90s Bulls win 8-10 championships in the 60s? My answer is no.

Depends on which era's rules were being enforced. It certainly would be something worth watching.

ewing
01-24-2016, 12:37 AM
why does everyone want to pretend that they have ever seen bill russell play basketball?

TheMightyHumph
01-24-2016, 12:55 AM
why does everyone want to pretend that they have ever seen bill russell play basketball?

Started following NBA in '62-'63. At that time there weren't that many televised game (although a local network showed 40-55 Knick games a year). The amount of nationally televised increased pretty quickly, most featuring, Celts, Lakers and Wilt. Along with this, many more Playoff games were shown.

Now, I didn't see Pettit beat Russell that one year (and Russell was injured), But I did see a few games of the '64 playoffs, and Finals which featured Celts vs. Wilt's Warriors. Celts crushed them.

FYI, until the Nets joined the NBA, my favorite team in the NBA was whichever team Wilt Chamberlain was playing for.

ewing
01-24-2016, 01:13 AM
Started following NBA in '62-'63. At that time there weren't that many televised game (although a local network showed 40-55 Knick games a year). The amount of nationally televised increased pretty quickly, most featuring, Celts, Lakers and Wilt. Along with this, many more Playoff games were shown.

Now, I didn't see Pettit beat Russell that one year (and Russell was injured), But I did see a few games of the '64 playoffs, and Finals which featured Celts vs. Wilt's Warriors. Celts crushed them.

FYI, until the Nets joined the NBA, my favorite team in the NBA was whichever team Wilt Chamberlain was playing for.


I respect your opinion then.

asandhu23
01-24-2016, 02:28 AM
Damn, seems Wilt's teams were outcoached on a pretty consistent basis.

And this next statement is not a joke. The FBI investigated Wilt for game-rigging based on his performance in game #7 of the '68 ECF.

FBI investigated Wilt for everything. They investigated him when he decided to move across the nation to play for Kansas. They thought a recruiter was slipping him cash.

Jeffy25
01-24-2016, 03:36 AM
never mind. read that as 69. 68 was weird finals. If I remember correctly, the whole team did bad in those finals.


This is the interesting part on Wiki.


Outcoached? team ****ed up?

fwiw, by the late 60's Wilt had lost a lot of his dominance. If he could have played with better players in the earlier 60's, you have to think he wins some chips (or at least more than his 2)

Of course, Wilt went from taking 40% of his teams shots to like 15%

What if Wilt had been with the Lakers with Baylor and West all through the 60's for example? Would Russell still have 11?

Jeffy25
01-24-2016, 03:39 AM
why does everyone want to pretend that they have ever seen bill russell play basketball?

I presume a stab at people discussing history as if they were there?


I get it. But even historians talk about history that way. I love history, sports included. But obviously, we only know what's been recorded/shared.

asandhu23
01-24-2016, 04:04 AM
fwiw, by the late 60's Wilt had lost a lot of his dominance. If he could have played with better players in the earlier 60's, you have to think he wins some chips (or at least more than his 2)

Of course, Wilt went from taking 40% of his teams shots to like 15%

What if Wilt had been with the Lakers with Baylor and West all through the 60's for example? Would Russell still have 11?

It would have been a whole different story. Red Auerbach was trying to get Wilt through territorial draft after seeing him dominate at summer am-pro league at Kutsher's. If Wilt had gone to Harvard like Red suggested instead of Kansas, they'd most likely be talking about Wilt with 8+ rings.

Plus later on in his career, he was diagnosed with irregular arrhythmia. Warriors traded him for chump change for that reason. Then he got the knee injury and the broken hands during the NBA finals.

TheMightyHumph
01-24-2016, 04:44 AM
fwiw, by the late 60's Wilt had lost a lot of his dominance. If he could have played with better players in the earlier 60's, you have to think he wins some chips (or at least more than his 2)

Of course, Wilt went from taking 40% of his teams shots to like 15%

What if Wilt had been with the Lakers with Baylor and West all through the 60's for example? Would Russell still have 11?

We'll never know.

NYKalltheway
01-24-2016, 06:20 AM
One thing people don't say about Wilt is that he was really fast. I mean, that guy could really sprint. This is something that Shaq for example wasn't (just mentioning Shaq coz he's often compared to Wilt due to their dominant style).

asandhu23
01-24-2016, 08:09 PM
One thing people don't say about Wilt is that he was really fast. I mean, that guy could really sprint. This is something that Shaq for example wasn't (just mentioning Shaq coz he's often compared to Wilt due to their dominant style).

I think he still has track records at Kansas.