From MVP titles, 11 Championships, and even the Presidential Medal of Free, Bill Russell was a bit part of why the Celtics will be known as the best sporting franchise in America, EVER! Not just in basketball but across all sports. What Russell and his team accomplished over his career were amazing and unheard of at the time.
Bill Russell is the winningest player the NBA has ever seen, still to do this day! He won 11 Championships with the Boston Celtics and from 1958-1966 we won Eight Straight Championships, something we will likely never see happen again. Bill was a massive part of why the Celtics won so much, but at the end of it all, it came down to his unselfish ways being the main reason why he was able to help the Celtics win.
Bill Russell was so good, that at one point in his career, he was told he couldn’t play defense the way he did as no one had seen it before and they didn’t know what all this shot-blocking stuff was about. However, when he got to the Celtics, they told him that while they may not be able to help him grow as a player individually, they are going to make sure the team can play around his playing style, and boy did they make sure of that!
Whenever the argument comes up about the best player in the NBA ever it is generally between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. While there is a lot of back and forth on this argument, it comes down to three things really. Rusell won more matches against Chamberlain and more titles but the most important argument of all is playing styles. While Chamberlain was absolutely amazing, there is no denying that his team had to feed him the ball for them to win. Whereas Russell, changed himself to better his team and fed his team the ball.
Bill Russell’s stat lines were absolutely amazing and he had more rebounds in a single quarter of most games than most players get in a whole game now. To this day, it was only Bill and Wilt that was ever able to get 20,000 career rebounds. Again, another feat of Bill Russell we will probably never see.
However, his best stat line of all is the one that will go unseen by most but will never be forgotten. He was probably the best shot blocker the NBA has ever seen, a stat that they didn’t record back when he played. Funnily enough, he is probably a big reason as to why they ever even started recording block shots stats as he was one of the original pioneers of that play style!
Off The Court
What was even more impressive was his behavior off the court. Considering he played in a time with some much racial injustice, he really held his head high and rose above. He has been recorded saying that the Celtics didn’t have the best relationship with their fans back then and it was because the Celtics were paving the way for black players. This never stopped Russell though and he always approached injustice with passion but remained level-headed.
Retiring Bill Russell’s No.6
While no doubt everyone would expect the Boston Celtics to retire Bill Russell’s No.6 it should come as no real surprise that the NBA would retire the No.6 league-wide. This Makes Bill Russell the only player in history to have his number retired across the whole league. Just another one of his achievements that we will likely never see happen again.
Bill was an absolute superstar both on and off the course and we could literally go on for days, if not weeks and months about his achievements. However, we will end this hearing and post another video below of a tribute made to him.
Rest well, Bill! We send out through and prayers to his family at this time of mourning!