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(Deadspin)   Michael, Magic, LeBron ... behold the awesomeness of Bill Russell (w/video)   (deadspin.com) divider line 45
    More: Obvious, Bill Russell, LeBron James, magic, Coast to Coast  
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1857 clicks; posted to Sports » on 26 Feb 2013 at 10:08 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

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2013-02-26 10:10:49 AM  
Bill Russell and Wilt were only good because they were playing against unathletic 6'6 white guys!

/something something travel
 
2013-02-26 10:50:21 AM  
Russell is a little over rated due to his rings.

He was an amazing defensive player and rebounder, but wasn't the all- around player like an MJ, Lebron, or Wilt.

He was the perfect cog for the rest of the team.  He couldn't have won without the rest of the squad, nor the squad without him.

Those Celtics teams were more about the sum of all parts being greater than the individuals.
 
2013-02-26 11:01:48 AM  

MugzyBrown: Russell is a little over rated due to his rings.

He was an amazing defensive player and rebounder, but wasn't the all- around player like an MJ, Lebron, or Wilt.

He was the perfect cog for the rest of the team.  He couldn't have won without the rest of the squad, nor the squad without him.

Those Celtics teams were more about the sum of all parts being greater than the individuals.


Thanks for sharing your personal observations of his play.
 
2013-02-26 11:09:31 AM  
Bill is a common sight at certain scruffy municipal golf in the Seattle area, usually playing with Slick Watts and one of the Baze clan.
He still looks like he could break you in half, bad knees and all.
 
2013-02-26 11:37:08 AM  
You gonna get dunked on.
redsarmy.com
 
2013-02-26 11:47:49 AM  
How come he only took 2 steps? You get three, right? Anyhow, with those two steps he still started above the key. Definitely better than any of the over-hyped "stars" today.
 
2013-02-26 11:51:17 AM  
How come Morgan Freeman didn't dunk it?
 
2013-02-26 12:08:43 PM  
Best ever. He could have scored 50 a game but that's not what the team required. Ultimate winner. His books are fantastic reads as well for those so inclined to, you know, read.
 
2013-02-26 12:34:16 PM  

you have pee hands: Bill Russell and Wilt were only good because they were playing against unathletic 6'6 white guys!

/something something travel


Wasn't the average height of a basketball player like 5'10" back then? I'm sure Jordan could *still* dunk over that.
 
2013-02-26 12:43:23 PM  

MugzyBrown: Russell is a little over rated due to his rings.

He was an amazing defensive player and rebounder, but wasn't the all- around player like an MJ, Lebron, or Wilt.

He was the perfect cog for the rest of the team.  He couldn't have won without the rest of the squad, nor the squad without him.

Those Celtics teams were more about the sum of all parts being greater than the individuals.


It's the same argument I have with people when I put Otto Graham on my list of the top all-time QBs.  Yes, Paul Brown and a half-dozen other HoFers made that team a juggernaut.  But he was a three-time MVP and had an exceptional completion percentage for that era.
 
2013-02-26 12:46:59 PM  

dj_spanmaster: you have pee hands: Bill Russell and Wilt were only good because they were playing against unathletic 6'6 white guys!

/something something travel

Wasn't the average height of a basketball player like 5'10" back then? I'm sure Jordan could *still* dunk over that.


Russell would be as dominate today as he was then. Remember, these guys actually had second jobs in the off season. Cousy and Heinson sold insurance! They weren't working out like they do today either.
 
2013-02-26 12:49:37 PM  

Waxing_Chewbacca: Russell would be as dominate today as he was then. Remember, these guys actually had second jobs in the off season. Cousy and Heinson sold insurance! They weren't working out like they do today either.


No way.  He's the size of a small forward in today's NBA.  Unless he figured out how to dribble and shoot 3's, I don't think he'd dominate.
 
2013-02-26 12:51:12 PM  
Nate Thurmond.
 
2013-02-26 12:52:19 PM  

Waxing_Chewbacca: dj_spanmaster: you have pee hands: Bill Russell and Wilt were only good because they were playing against unathletic 6'6 white guys!

/something something travel

Wasn't the average height of a basketball player like 5'10" back then? I'm sure Jordan could *still* dunk over that.

Russell would be as dominate dominant today as he was then. Remember, these guys actually had second jobs in the off season. Cousy and Heinson sold insurance! They weren't working out like they do today either.


I'm familiar with all the arguments. "The game was tougher, and individuals could shine!" Yadda yadda yadda. Instead, I'm going to make fun of you for your bad grammar, which I corrected for you above.
 
2013-02-26 12:55:16 PM  
Mugzy, ya almost got it with your comment that "Those Celtics teams were more about the sum of all parts being greater than the individuals." What you forget is that the reason they were such a mind-blowing team was because Russell was the ultimate team player. Sure, they had a great coach and terrific players. But Russell was the Magic (pun intended) that made that team the best ever.
 
2013-02-26 12:55:33 PM  

dj_spanmaster: Waxing_Chewbacca: dj_spanmaster: you have pee hands: Bill Russell and Wilt were only good because they were playing against unathletic 6'6 white guys!

/something something travel

Wasn't the average height of a basketball player like 5'10" back then? I'm sure Jordan could *still* dunk over that.

Russell would be as dominate dominant today as he was then. Remember, these guys actually had second jobs in the off season. Cousy and Heinson sold insurance! They weren't working out like they do today either.

I'm familiar with all the arguments. "The game was tougher, and individuals could shine!" Yadda yadda yadda. Instead, I'm going to make fun of you for your bad grammar, which I corrected for you above.


Auto correct. Thanks for being a dick.
 
2013-02-26 12:56:41 PM  
Bill Russell rules. The man has more rings than there is fingers, and he earned every one of them in the trenches of the paint at the old Boston Garden.

// Mad respect for the man.
 
2013-02-26 12:58:09 PM  

MugzyBrown: No way. He's the size of a small forward in today's NBA. Unless he figured out how to dribble and shoot 3's, I don't think he'd dominate.


Pump him up with some HGH modern nutrition and personal training and he'd probably be at least as big as Ben Wallace.  Obviously Wallace was no Russell but he was still able to defend the paint.
 
2013-02-26 01:15:25 PM  
Meh, he'd get schooled by players from the 80's onwards.  Just like most NFL players from his era would get run over by today's players, I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

/Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics
 
2013-02-26 02:14:33 PM  

UNC_Samurai: It's the same argument I have with people when I put Otto Graham on my list of the top all-time QBs.


Anyone who doesn't have Graham on their top 5 list doesn't know what the fark he's talking about.

/you're a bright kid, UNC_S
//my nephew's a bright kid, and a junior at UNC
 
2013-02-26 02:31:45 PM  

edgesrealm: Bill Russell rules. The man has more rings than there is fingers, and he earned every one of them in the trenches of the paint at the old Boston Garden.

// Mad respect for the man.


Disagrees.
 
2013-02-26 02:32:21 PM  

BKITU: edgesrealm: Bill Russell rules. The man has more rings than there is fingers, and he earned every one of them in the trenches of the paint at the old Boston Garden.

// Mad respect for the man.

Disagrees.


And my image got chucked. =P

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110320032210/princessbride/i ma ges/e/e5/Count_Rugen%27s_right_hand.png
 
2013-02-26 02:53:31 PM  
I grew up in the Russell/Chamberlain era, and I can say without any reservations that Russell is one the best I've ever seen. Yes, he could have been like Wilt, Big O and West and scored 20-30 a night, but he didn't have to; defense and rebounding were his fortes.
 
2013-02-26 04:09:01 PM  
nba-memes.com
 
2013-02-26 04:14:43 PM  

Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.


?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics


Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.
 
2013-02-26 04:32:59 PM  

ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.


Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.
 
2013-02-26 06:08:30 PM  

Henry Holland: Meh, he'd get schooled by players from the 80's onwards.  Just like most NFL players from his era would get run over by today's players, I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

/Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics


Even baseball is so different now than it was 20, 40, 60 years ago. It was only ten years ago that teams really started putting stock into walks, working the count, getting pitchers out early, etc. A team constructed in the 90s or 80s would likely do quite poorly today. You look at guys like Adam Dunn and Russel Branyan these days, and you realize that those guys would have been monsters in those eras. But so much of their effectiveness is sapped by pitching charts telling you exactly what their weaknesses are, spray charts telling you exactly how to defend them (have you noticed that shifts have become way more common?), and pitchers having become that much better.

There are pitchers throwing 90+ sliders these days. The game has changed a lot in the last 10/20 years. Maybe not as dramatically as basketball, but it's not unreasonable to think that anyone from the 80s or older would have a huge challenge facing current-day competition.
 
2013-02-26 06:11:16 PM  
So I don't actually like LeBron James but you're just crazy if you think Bill Russell in his prime is anywhere near as good as LeBron.  Hell you're crazy if you think anyone from decades ago are anywhere near as good as the top athletes today in any sport whatsoever.  It's just a completely different culture.  Now in sports, they dedicated themselves 24/7 from a very early age.  They work out, the endurance train, for team sports the schemes and strategies are more intellectual and they grew up playing against harder competition, making them even better.

If you could transplant the Celtics in their prime from 1956-1969 to today's NBA, there's no way they win 11 championships.  On average the NBA is like 5-6 inches taller than the 1957 Celtics roster.  Russell was a 6' 9" center.  el oh el.
 
2013-02-26 06:16:40 PM  
What about Dr. Jay. Why doesn't anyone at least mention the doctor when we are having a conversation about who's GOAT. The pretty much invented the modern game of professional basketball.
 
2013-02-26 06:30:31 PM  

MFAWG: Bill is a common sight at certain scruffy municipal golf in the Seattle area, usually playing with Slick Watts and one of the Baze clan.
He still looks like he could break you in half, bad knees and all.


Jefferson Park - I've seen him playing there on many occasions.
 
2013-02-26 06:30:48 PM  
Dr. Jay?
 
2013-02-26 06:47:02 PM  

Franco: What about Dr. Jay. Why doesn't anyone at least mention the doctor when we are having a conversation about who's GOAT. The pretty much invented the modern game of professional basketball.


He was magnificent of course. But he's not in the conversation. Personally I detest that particular conversation because it's stupid, pointless, and not able to be decided definitively. Most people just pick the guy who was the best when they were watching.
 
2013-02-26 08:18:23 PM  

Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.


Meh, Kareem played in a different era, nowadays it is all about scoring points.  Whoever can get the most digits on the board is what matters, none of this "passing" or "defense" talk, and leadership? Hell, I don't care how QUOTE *good* QUOTE Kareem was, if he couldn't score points, he isn't in the conversation.  Michael scored points, Wilt scored points, Dr. J scored points, and Kobe is currently scoring points.  That is why they are the best, and Kareem is a footnote on the all-time scoring record.
 
2013-02-26 10:21:59 PM  

Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.


You can't compare that Muslim to Russell. People are still pissed for what they did at Pearl Harbor.
 
2013-02-26 10:24:55 PM  

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.

Meh, Kareem played in a different era, nowadays it is all about scoring points.  Whoever can get the most digits on the board is what matters, none of this "passing" or "defense" talk, and leadership? Hell, I don't care how QUOTE *good* QUOTE Kareem was, if he couldn't score points, he isn't in the conversation.  Michael scored points, Wilt scored points, Dr. J scored points, and Kobe is currently scoring points.  That is why they are the best, and Kareem is a footnote on the all-time scoring record.


Not sure if you're serious, but here you go anyway:

1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,3872Karl Malone36,9283Michael Jordan32,2924Wilt Chamberlain31,4195KOBE BRYANT31,0566Shaquille O'Neal28,5967Moses Malone27,4098Elvin Hayes27,3139Hakeem Olajuwon26,94610Oscar Robertson26,710
 
2013-02-26 10:30:18 PM  

Tumunga: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.

Meh, Kareem played in a different era, nowadays it is all about scoring points.  Whoever can get the most digits on the board is what matters, none of this "passing" or "defense" talk, and leadership? Hell, I don't care how QUOTE *good* QUOTE Kareem was, if he couldn't score points, he isn't in the conversation.  Michael scored points, Wilt scored points, Dr. J scored points, and Kobe is currently scoring points.  That is why they are the best, and Kareem is a footnote on the all-time scoring record.

Not sure if you're serious, but here you go anyway:

1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,3872Karl Malone36,9283Michael Jordan32,2924Wilt Chamberlain31,4195KOBE BRYANT31,0566Shaquille O'Neal28,5967Moses Malone27,4098Elvin Hayes27,3139Hakeem Olajuwon26,94610Oscar Robertson26,710


PHUQ!!!!!1
Let me try that again:

1. Kareem Abul-Jabbar     38,387
2. Karl Malone                  36,928
3. Michael Jordan             32,292
4. Wilt Chamberlain          31,419
5. Kobe Bryant                 31,056
6. Shaquille O'Neal             28,596
7. Moses Malone                27,409
8. Elvin Hayes                     27,313
9. Hakeem Olajuwon          26,946
10. Oscar Robinson           26,710
 
2013-02-27 12:54:42 AM  

MugzyBrown: Waxing_Chewbacca: Russell would be as dominate today as he was then. Remember, these guys actually had second jobs in the off season. Cousy and Heinson sold insurance! They weren't working out like they do today either.

No way.  He's the size of a small forward in today's NBA.  Unless he figured out how to dribble and shoot 3's, I don't think he'd dominate.



Basketball players are actually a centimeter or so shorter now then they used to be, though they are a couple of kilos heavier, if that is what you were referring to,
 
2013-02-27 06:04:45 AM  

Tumunga: Tumunga: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.

Meh, Kareem played in a different era, nowadays it is all about scoring points.  Whoever can get the most digits on the board is what matters, none of this "passing" or "defense" talk, and leadership? Hell, I don't care how QUOTE *good* QUOTE Kareem was, if he couldn't score points, he isn't in the conversation.  Michael scored points, Wilt scored points, Dr. J scored points, and Kobe is currently scoring points.  That is why they are the best, and Kareem is a footnote on the all-time scoring record.

Not sure if you're serious, but here you go anyway:

1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,3872Karl Malone36,9283Michael Jordan32,2924Wilt Chamberlain31,4195KOBE BRYANT31,0566Shaquille O'Neal28,5967Moses Malone27,4098Elvin Hayes27,3139Hakeem Olajuwon26,94610Oscar Robertson26,710

PHUQ!!!!!1
Let me try that again:

1. Kareem Abul-Jabbar     38,387
2. Karl Malone                  36,928
3. Michael Jordan             32,292
4. Wilt Chamberlain          31,419
5. Kobe Bryant                 31,056
6. Shaquille O'Neal             28,596
7. Moses Malone                27,409
8. Elvin Hayes                     27,313
9. Hakeem Olajuwon          26,946
10. Oscar Robinson           26,710


Psssh, I don't know what all those "numbers" mean, but I guarantee Kareem is at the top due to movie cameos with Bruce Lee and appearances on celebrity Jeopardy.  Hell, I saw one time he was on celebrity Jeopardy, and he didn't even know who the all time NBA points leader was!!!  How can he be included in the GOAT discussion if he doesn't even know who the highest scorer of all time was?

Oh, and my level of seriousness shouldn't be called into question, I think it is obvious I know what I am talking about.
 
2013-02-27 06:15:57 AM  

MugzyBrown: Russell is a little over rated due to his rings.

He was an amazing defensive player and rebounder, but wasn't the all- around player like an MJ, Lebron, or Wilt.

He was the perfect cog for the rest of the team.  He couldn't have won without the rest of the squad, nor the squad without him.

Those Celtics teams were more about the sum of all parts being greater than the individuals.


This is the single stupidest post I've ever read on FARC.  First, Russell is the ONLY player in the league to have caused a major rule change (offensive goaltending).  Second, Russell could have been a very high scorer if he had wanted to, he had a wicked hook shot and great inside moves.  If he had been on a different team that didn't emphasize balanced scoring he would have averaged 20 or more a game easily.  He is the greatest player in NBA history (taking generational improvements into account).  And to say that the NBA was all white in the '60's is just plain ignorant.  Also, you appear to be a racialist.
 
2013-02-27 09:12:31 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: Basketball players are actually a centimeter or so shorter now then they used to be, though they are a couple of kilos heavier, if that is what you were referring to,


Shorter than they used to be when?

I'd believe that they're shorter than 20 years ago, because of the death of the 7-footer in the NBA. But they're all far more athletic than those guys were (on average).
 
2013-02-27 09:27:48 AM  

MartinD-35: First, Russell is the ONLY player in the league to have caused a major rule change (offensive goaltending)


That's not totally true, George Mikan resulted in changing the size of the lane and the defensive goaltending rule.  That's ancient history though.
 
2013-02-27 09:31:20 AM  

you have pee hands: MartinD-35: First, Russell is the ONLY player in the league to have caused a major rule change (offensive goaltending)

That's not totally true, George Mikan resulted in changing the size of the lane and the defensive goaltending rule.  That's ancient history though.


Also, obviously there are going to be more major changes early in the league's (and sport's) history. So that's kind of a silly basis for asserting "greatest."

I think that, ultimately, the best way to prove you're the best as a player would be to go to a different team every year and win a championship with them. Maybe if LeBron goes from Miami to Houston in 2014 and then gets back to Cleveland and wins some more...
 
2013-02-27 09:48:52 AM  

IAmRight: I think that, ultimately, the best way to prove you're the best as a player would be to go to a different team every year and win a championship with them. Maybe if LeBron goes from Miami to Houston in 2014 and then gets back to Cleveland and wins some more...


That would be pretty good evidence that a guy's great though in this brave new world of harsh luxury tax violation repeater penalties I wonder if we'll see superstars move around a lot more.
 
2013-02-27 07:51:15 PM  

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Tumunga: Tumunga: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Lego_Addict: ten foiled hats: Henry Holland: I think the only sport you can really compare eras is baseball.

?

Henry Holland: /Lakers fan
//Fark the Celtics

Russell is well-worthy (James?) of a god-awful amount of respect, but HEY SUBS, IT'S MICHAEL MAGIC LARRY.  IF YOU'RE TOSSING IN LEBRON, TOSS IN KOBE.  DUMBASS.

/also LAL fan.  sad.

Or how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Everyone is always forgetting him.

Meh, Kareem played in a different era, nowadays it is all about scoring points.  Whoever can get the most digits on the board is what matters, none of this "passing" or "defense" talk, and leadership? Hell, I don't care how QUOTE *good* QUOTE Kareem was, if he couldn't score points, he isn't in the conversation.  Michael scored points, Wilt scored points, Dr. J scored points, and Kobe is currently scoring points.  That is why they are the best, and Kareem is a footnote on the all-time scoring record.

Not sure if you're serious, but here you go anyway:

1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,3872Karl Malone36,9283Michael Jordan32,2924Wilt Chamberlain31,4195KOBE BRYANT31,0566Shaquille O'Neal28,5967Moses Malone27,4098Elvin Hayes27,3139Hakeem Olajuwon26,94610Oscar Robertson26,710

PHUQ!!!!!1
Let me try that again:

1. Kareem Abul-Jabbar     38,387
2. Karl Malone                  36,928
3. Michael Jordan             32,292
4. Wilt Chamberlain          31,419
5. Kobe Bryant                 31,056
6. Shaquille O'Neal             28,596
7. Moses Malone                27,409
8. Elvin Hayes                     27,313
9. Hakeem Olajuwon          26,946
10. Oscar Robinson           26,710

Psssh, I don't know what all those "numbers" mean, but I guarantee Kareem is at the top due to movie cameos with Bruce Lee and appearances on celebrity Jeopardy.  Hell, I saw one time he was on celebrity Jeopardy, and he didn't even know who the all time NBA points leader was!!!  How can he be included in the GOAT discussion if he doesn't even know ...


It's plainly obvious, and please forgive me for not knowing how many points movie cameos accrue during one's career. He probably earned 15k alone just for the time spent in Airplane.
 
2013-02-28 08:47:49 AM  
You really can't compare then and now in the NBA. If today's players went back in time and played, it would go something like this: traveling, traveling, palming, technical foul, traveling, palming, technical foul, ejection.
 
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