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Legend Bill Russell Dies


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Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion as a player and coach with the Boston Celtics and one of the most important figures in NBA history, has died at the age of 88, his family announced Sunday. Russell passed away peacefully with his wife Jeannine by his side. 

Born in Louisiana in 1934, Russell was not initially considered a top basketball prospect. His first scholarship offer came from the University of San Francisco, a school hardly known for its basketball prowess but one that Russell was able to carry to consecutive national championships in 1955 and 1956. In addition to basketball, Russell was a track star at San Francisco, notably competing in the high jump. He won an Olympic gold medal in basketball as Team USA's captain in 1956 before turning professional.

Despite his collegiate excellence, Russell was not the first pick in the 1956 NBA Draft. That honor went to Duquesne wing Si Green. That left Russell available at No. 2, where the St. Louis Hawks were drafting. However, circumstances worked in Russell's favor. Boston Celtics star Ed Macauley's son was being treated for spinal meningitis in St. Louis, so he asked the team to send him there as a favor. They did so, and Boston landed the No. 2 pick in exchange for Macauley and fellow Hall-of-Famer Cliff Hagan. The deal didn't exactly blow up in St. Louis' face. Though they lost the 1957 Finals to Boston, the Hawks came back to win it all in a 1958 rematch with the Celtics. But that would be the last championship they'd ever win. Russell won 10 more, including the next eight in a row. 

The trade was just as important to Russell as it was to the Celtics. "If I would've gotten drafted by St. Louis, I wouldn't have been in the NBA," Russell said in an interview with NBATV. "St. Louis was overwhelmingly racist." Sadly, Russell faced racism throughout his early life in the South and his entire career in Boston, and he became one of the most socially conscious athletes in American history. He attended Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in person and was one of several black athletes and leaders to attend the 1967 Cleveland Summit in support of Muhammad Ali. In 1966, Russell became the first Black head coach in American sports history when he replaced Red Auerbach in Boston. He retained his role as the team's starting center while coaching the team on his way to its last two championships.

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/redrafting-the-2021-nba-draft-rockets-pick-evan-mobley-at-no-2-jalen-green-slips-to-magic-at-no-5/

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33 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

Henri Richard the pocket rocket also won 11 Stanley cup championships.

Russell from an era in BBall where you had to have more than one single skillset.

Thanks for reminding me. And I call myself a hockey fan.😩

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5 hours ago, JiFapono said:

Wasnt around to see him play but his legacy carried on through the years.  There will always be that person who says, Jordan?  LeBron?  Russell is the GOAT.  Cant imagine what he had to go through playing in that city during that era.  RIP to a beautiful man.  88 is a great run.

100% this, bubba. Check pms.

 

 

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5 hours ago, munchmemory said:

"Secretary of Defense" is right.

 

Watching these highlights, as dominant as he was, the competition was less talented 

 

7 hours ago, Maynard13 said:

11 Rings. Wow just WOW 😯 
Sit your azz down Brady. 

4D3358F0-2A9E-430F-B443-FC9A5A50201B.jpeg

Awesome!

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i urge any basketball fan to take a good look at bill russell and then michael jordan and see which one is the greatest of all time (so far).  imo russell was much better.  he had more offense than people talk about and played against stiffer competition.  jordan maybe should be considered the best at his position.

the nba lost one of it's truly great players and people.  russell played with honor and dignity.

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14 hours ago, JiFapono said:

Wasnt around to see him play but his legacy carried on through the years.  There will always be that person who says, Jordan?  LeBron?  Russell is the GOAT.  Cant imagine what he had to go through playing in that city during that era.  RIP to a beautiful man.  88 is a great run.

 

1 hour ago, rangerous said:

i urge any basketball fan to take a good look at bill russell and then michael jordan and see which one is the greatest of all time (so far).  imo russell was much better.  he had more offense than people talk about and played against stiffer competition.  jordan maybe should be considered the best at his position.

the nba lost one of it's truly great players and people.  russell played with honor and dignity.

See Season 1 GIF by BET Plus

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18 hours ago, Maynard13 said:

I haven’t watched the Knicks since Ewing blew that finger roll that cost them a chance at winning a title. Ewing has to be the most disappointing NY sports athlete EVER. 

 

Ewing was the last Knick to bring respect to NY basketball. There was this guy in Chicago  that was the reason we never won it all. I heard he pretty good.

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