OT: RIP: Bill Russell (1934-2022)

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Ronin

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Mainstreet

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Bill Russell was one of the all-time greats. He was particularly known for his defense.

Rest in Peace.
 

Mainstreet

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A memorable moment for two greats that are no longer with us.

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Russ Smith

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Not old enough to have seen him play but I've seen highlights and from the stories the man was an unreal player. Just a great man though.

RIP
 

Mainstreet

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There are so many great photographs but I wanted to include this one.

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TRW

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Oh wow. One of the truly great ones. Enjoyed him back in the day he did broadcasting.

Tough guy. The stories of the racist Boston “fans” and how he persevered are amazing. He was a great human being.

R.I.P. Mr. Russell
 

az jam

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He was the GOAT!!! All he did was win at every level. He changed the NBA. His lifetime average per game NBA stats were: 15 pts, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots per game. He won 11 NBA titles. RIP Mr Russell.
 

Raindog

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Very sad to hear... one of the genuine icons of 20th century sports. RIP.
 

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Sorry to hear this. Apparently he passed peacefully at home with his wife by his side, which is about as much as anyone could hope for when their time is up.

RIP Mr Russell.
 

Big Al

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A memorable moment for two greats that are no longer with us.

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A memorable moment for two greats that are no longer with us.

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A memorable moment for two greats that are no longer with us.

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A true great of the game Russell RIP. My dad's 1st NBA live game saw Russell's Celtics take on Wilt and the 76er's. Of course Celtics won. And he said that was a battle of two top Giants that he would never foget as he held on to his ticket stubs for years.
 
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Big Al

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There are so many great photographs but I wanted to include this one.

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A true winner & team player at all levels that he competed. His competitive drive should have been bottled and sold. And if only Ayton can have a ounce of it. Never understood why Russell wasn't considered as the All time Goat. Look at those championship rings. I remember he was at a gathering of some kind and he told all those great centers present there that he would have kick all their as*es. And they all laughed and knew he would. A true student of the this great game. How great was Bill Russell? Well, the St. Louis Hawks picked up two eventual Hall of Famers (Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan) in exchange for the draft pick that turned out to be Bill Russell. Imagine picking up two Hall of Famers and it turns out to be an awful, lopsided trade not in your favor........that is how great Bill Russell was. RIP Mr. Russell!
 
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Yuma

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I did see Russel play. My description of him was a man who played the game at the mental peak of the game. Wilt Chamberlain had vastly superior physical talents. Russel knew his limits, but also knew Wilt's limits. Slowing him down helped his team win games. It occurred to me that Russel was like Muhammed Ali. In his day in the heavy weight division, there were arguably more talented heavy weights, stronger heavy weights, and more devastating punchers in the heavy weight division at Ali's time. But Ali had the smarts to outfox them all. That was Bill Russell. He became a coach/player for the Celtics. He had a great mind that let him not just master his craft, but do it in a way to elevate his teams to win.
 

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Wilt could be distracted by things like his feud with Butch van Breda Kolff. Russell was solely focused on winning. And despite having less talent than Chamberlain, Russell's approach was what helped the Celtics win 11 championships in 13 years.

Most championship teams don't have the overwhelming talen that it takes to go out for two or three years in a row and go through the grind to win titles, but Boston did it eight consecutive years!

When your leader has that mindset and is respected by the other players, everyone else falls in line. Wilt started to understand it late in his career in Los Angeles, but the only time he won otherwise was in Philadelphia with overwhelming talent alongside him. Russell was able to push his teammates to perform their best, Wilt was not. (of course a lot of the problems Wilt encountered in LA weren't Wilt's fault - Baylor was usurped as the team's star and by the end he had slipped behind both Wilt and West in the pecking order, and there was clearly some resentment there).

But it comes down to winning and nobody did it like the Celtics - with Russell as the backbone on the court.
 

Mainstreet

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Bradley reflect on Bill Russell.

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Mainstreet

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The NBA will retire number 6 in honor of Bill Russell. It will not impact current players wearing the number.

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