“Legends never die”, as they say, and in the case of the great Bill Russell, not only will his story endure, but so will his achievements, and there are a lot of them.
Bill Russell was regarded and loved both on and off the court, and his outstanding career with the Boston Celtics helped to make him one of the most admired and phenomenally successful players in the history of the NBA history. To be honest, when we look back on Russell’s career, some of his stats weren’t simply unmatched; they almost seemed disrespectful to other players.
He concluded his playing career with totals of 14,522 points, 21,620 rebounds, and 4,100 assists, on average of 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Although the raw data is excellent, it only tells a partial story. To explain the other half, we will first explore what it means to be a legend.
Bill Russells Achievements
Russell won 11 NBA championships throughout his playing career, and yes, that number continues to be a record. That also featured an incredible eight victories in a row from 1959 to 1966. Even more ridiculous is the fact that Russell played a total of 13 seasons, meaning he won a championship in all but two of those.
It’s also important to note that he played and coached for his final two championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Take a minute to attempt to imagine a player in the current game leading his squad to two titles. Not going to happen.
Russell won the NBA MVP award five times during his 13 seasons with the Celtics (1958, 1961–1963, 1965). He is now second on the list, behind only six-time winner Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Michael Jordan, often known as “Airness,” is seated on the fifth spot, which gives you an idea of the type of player it takes to reach such heights.
Russell and Jordan are followed by LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain with four points each.
You’ve probably guessed where this is going by now. Russell was chosen for the All-Star selection 12 times during his 13 NBA seasons. If it wasn’t clear, Russell’s first season was the only one in which he missed the All-Star game. He was first on the list after that. It’s interesting to note that despite missing one All-Star game, he was consistently chosen to play in the league’s midseason exhibition game. In terms of the actual All-Star games, Russell started seven out of the 12 and finished with a total of 120 points, 139 rebounds, and 39 assists.
Bill Russell was the easy pick to receive the first NBA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Russell was the first recipient of the award, which the NBA gave to a player who symbolizes outstanding success in the NBA both on and off the court. Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird came after him.
There are 21,620 rebounds listed on Bill Russell’s cv, which speaks much about how good he was. Russell, who is, to put it mildly, dominant, is ranked second all-time in the NBA for most rebounds. Only Wilt Chamberlain grabbed more career boards with his astounding 23,924 boards. For good measure, Russell, who averages 22.5 rebounds per game, is second to only Chamberlain (22.5). That naturally brings up his four rebounding titles (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965).
The Bill Russell Trophy
Bill Russell’s name is now on the trophy given to the NBA Finals MVP, which is another worthy act of immortalization. Although Bill Russell himself never actually received the award—it was only introduced in 1969, his final season in the league—it may be poetic justice that the trophy will always be known by his name.