No one, in any sport has been winning, quite like Bill Russell. Probably this sentence summarizes it the best. He played 13 seasons and won 11 world championships. Period!
Psychologically he was always ready to out-play the opponent and was always one step ahead of everyone. Bill was a smart player who was the epitome of a winning master mind. Whatever the game wanted from him, he would adapt.
And no matter how much he won, that didn’t make him goofing off because it was his promise that he made to himself, that he’s gonna give his all in order to win.Psychologically he was always ready to out-play the opponent and was always one step ahead of everyone. Bill was a smart player who was the epitome of a winning master mind. Whatever the game wanted from him, he would adapt.
Since he entered the NBA in 1956 he transformed the Boston Celtics from a team that never won an NBA title to the winningest team in the league. Here’s in interesting quote of Bill… “Shooting, is of relatively little importance in a player’s overall game.”
Russell only cared about winning. And to win, he realized that he needed to be exceptional rebounder and shot blocker. And even the word “exceptional” doesn’t describe just how brilliant his skills were.
So, he approached the game in a very, never before seen way. Defensive way. Together with other Hall of Famers, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek and Sam Jones, they developed the team’s trademark. A fast break basketball.
Red Auerbach, the guy in the picture with Bill, was the backbone of Celtics. I personally thing that Boston and Bill were not going to win nearly as many titles as they did, if it wasn’t for Red.
Bill Russell started playing basketball at the age of 9. His family had to move to Oakland during World War II. Over there, life was hard. Being black and working for a minimum salary, his father Charles worked as a janitor in paper factory.
His mom died when he was 12 and his dad and George Mikan were two people he looked up to. He met George Mikan in high school. After graduating from high school he went to University of San Francisco. It was there when his talent came to a spotlight.
People noticed him as a leaper and a defensive force. That’s what Red Auerbach saw in him and went through hell and back to get him. Well, that certainly paid off.
Even as a rookie, he became a champion. One of the biggest rivalries began with Wilt Chamberlain. Those two players were incredibly imposing. Wilt was a scoring machine and Bill Russell was more into the defensive concept. Every Sunday fans didn’t come to watch Boston against Philadelphia but Bill against Wilt.
His real motivations was that inside him, he knew, every night that he had a perfect game. His game was perfect by his standards. That was what drove him to excel even when he was excelled.
The knowledge that he had about other players made him different. Basically he knew what was the favourite move of this or that player. He knew his weaknesses as well as strengths.
That aura he had around him, everyone could feel. He was the type of star that made others around him even better. And for sure Bill was the best player to ever play the game before Michael Jordan came to the scene.
I’m not saying anything about both of them and I don’t intend to start a discussion here. They are all different in their own ways but I’m saying what most would say about the greatest basketball player.
Bill was also famous for refusing to sign autographs and his philosophy was that he owes the public what it owes him. Nothing.
Here’s a quick look at his stats:
21,620 rebounds (many seasons he got over a 1000), 5 MVP awards, 1 All-Star MVP, 1 Olympic gold, 11 titles and too bad back then, they weren’t keeping track of his blocks. I’m sure he has the most.