NBA legend Bill Russell has died

One of the greatest ever to play three game has died. He was 88.

Rest In Peace, Bill.

He won 11 championships with the Celtics in an era in which Wilt Chamberlain was dominating the statistics. And he did it in a city that was (and still is, for the most part) hostile to Black people.

Bill Russell was the subject of the first book I remember reading about pro basketball. Funny, I even remember that the book began, ‘Rookies, always trying to show off their defense…’

He was before my time but what film footage I’ve seen definitely shows that he was one of the best of all time.

USF won two national championships when he was there. Boggles the mind.

He’s the center on my All-NBA team.

Or maybe the power forward, with Wilt at C. But I want him on my team.

He was the only player in a major sport to have more Championships than Yogi Berra.

He was actually before my time and on a hated rival but still have to respect his greatness.

Nope. Henri Richard also won 11 championships, in 20 years in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens.

Berra “only” won the World Series ten times.

I said major sport. :slight_smile:

Sorry about that, I never even heard of Henri Richard. Amazing he won 11.

I’m not old enough to have watched Russell play, but am old enough to have seen him do color commentary. From what I’ve read and seen in videos, he was a defensive force and he was a strong rebounder.

Here is a virtual high five. :clap:

(Though in all seriousness I’ve been casually watching the NHL the last couple of years and it can be pretty thrilling.)

To be fair, for the first 12 seasons of Richard’s stellar career, the NHL was a six-team league. (Then again, the NBA was an eight-team league for a fair chunk of Russell’s career.)

Blarg. Richard’s gotten his name etched on the most famous trophy in professional sports 11 more times than anyone on this board, as far as I know.

Absolutely true, and he was a fantastic player.

I’m just noting that the NHL (and the NBA) was a very different league in those days, if for no other reason than the much smaller number of teams against which one was competing. That, combined with no salary caps and limited free agency, likely made it easier to build and maintain a dynastic team.

At the time there was no draft in the NHL and the Canadiens had a huge farm system of French-speaking players. In the 50s they had more “minor-leaguers” than the other 5 teams combined. They did not, as has been claimed have exclusive first rights of all French speaking Canadians, but their system made it almost like that.

I just found out about Nichelle Nichols and now this.
RIP, All Star.

There’s a thread on his passing in The Game Room:

He was the first black head coach in a major sport, as he led the team he was on as a player-coach beginning in 1966.

Andscape has a compelling article about Russell already.

One of my first hero’s, I remember reading his book Go Up for Glory in the 1960’s (I may still have it in the archives, will need to look) and besides being a great athlete, he was also a fighter for equality back in the times when Jim Crow still was a major part of Southern living. A man I never met but always respected. We’ll not see his likes again for some time, I think.

A great athlete and a great man. RIP Bill.