Biography of Basketball Player and Athlete Bill Russell
About the biography of the famous basketball player and athlete Bill Russell history and information.
The Boston Celtics dominated basketball for over a decade and the primary reason was a lean, bearded wonder named Bill Russell. A tireless and implacable worker, Russell was the game's foremost defensive genius and its noblest warrior.
He was born February 12, 1924, in Monroe, La., but moved to Detroit, and then on to Oakland during his boyhood. He had to share uniforms with another player on the McClymonds High School junior varsity as a sophomore, but 2 years later was starting center and a good one.
At San Francisco University, the 6'9" Russell and guard K. C. Jones led the Dons to 60 straight wins, a record not surpassed until 1972 by UCLA. USF won national championships in 1955-1956. Russell claimed a gold medal in the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne.
The Celtics launched their dynasty in 1956 by acquiring the draft rights to Russell from the St. Louis Hawks in exchange for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan. In Russell's 13 seasons (1956-1969), Boston won 11 NBA championships. Only in 1958 and 1967 were the Celtics denied. Russell was player-coach in 1967-1969.
During his career, he took 21,721 rebounds and led the league 4 times. He corralled 51 rebounds in one game, 49 twice. He was All-Pro 1st team 3 times, league MVP 5 times, and participated in 12 All-Star games. He also set a multitude of play-off records.
His duels with Wilt Chamberlain will be talked about as long as the game is played. Their rivalry turned bitter in later years, and neither would utter a kind word about the other.
Russell also grew more outspoken. He championed black causes and racial harmony. He exuded warmth and possessed an infectious, high-pitched cackle, but refused to sign autographs, considering it too impersonal.
After retiring, he became a commentator for ABC sports, and a lecturer on college campuses. He returned to the NBA in 1973 as coach and general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics. Seattle owner Sam Schulman, Russell said, made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Russell was a unanimous choice for the NBA Silver Anniversary Team. He is a member of the Citizens Savings Hall of Fame and its All-Time All-America Team.
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