If Chamberlain is the NBA’s most dominate player, Bill Russell is the NBA’s most dominate winner. Russell won 11 titles as a player and 2 as a coach …for a grand total of 13.
Russell is widely considered one of the best players in NBA history. He was listed as between 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m), and his shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics’ success. He also inspired his teammates to elevate their own defensive play. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Though never the focal point of the Celtics’ offense, Russell also scored 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.
Russell is one of only seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…Bill Russell.
- 11× NBA champion (1957, 1959–1966, 1968, 1969)
- 5× NBA Most Valuable Player (1958, 1961–1963, 1965)
- 12× NBA All-Star (1958–1969)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (1963)
- 3× All-NBA First Team (1959, 1963, 1965)
- 8× All-NBA Second Team (1958, 1960–1962, 1964, 1966–1968)
- NBA All-Defensive First Team (1969)
- 4× NBA rebounding champion (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965)
- NBA 50th Anniversary Team
- NBA 35th Anniversary Team
- NBA 25th Anniversary Team
- No. 6 retired by the Boston Celtics
- 2× NCAA champion (1955, 1956)
- NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1955)
- UPI College Player of the Year (1956)
- 2× Helms Player of the Year (1955, 1956)
- 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1955, 1956)
- WCC Player of the Year (1956)