HoopsHype Bill Russell rumors

October 16, 2013 Updates
August 13, 2013 Updates

The saying goes “One can judge a man by the company he keep.” That gem of a quote is credited to Euripides, 480 B.C. Yet, it could just as easily apply to Oklahoma City Thunder chairman Clay Bennett. Since bringing an NBA franchise to his home state, the Oklahoma City native has stayed pretty much in the shadows, letting general manager Sam Presti be the public face of the organization. However, the business mogul and civic leader gave Oklahomans a rare glimpse into his personal life when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. What stood out to them most about his induction was who he chose to present him. He went with NBA legend Bill Russell. Bennett didn’t choose the Hall of Fame center just to show off. He did it for the simplest of reasons. Russell is a friend. “I have had a very nice relationship with Bill,” Bennett said. “I thought it might be fun to bring him to Oklahoma. And let others hear and enjoy him as I have. He was very gracious to accept. I am honored he would be here.” Tahlequah Daily Press

August 12, 2013 Updates
June 21, 2013 Updates

The Miami Heat won their second straight NBA championship. LeBron James won his second straight NBA Finals MVP. And Nike released a spectacular commercial to commemorate it. The one-minute spot features an answering machine belonging to LeBron (although the idea of LeBron having a landline, let alone a physical answering machine, is laughable in 2013), with Drake, Dr. Dre, Warren Buffett, Bill Russell and others leaving him congratulatory messages. For The Win

June 20, 2013 Updates

"He has the same kinds of skills (as me). He creates problems for the other team on both offense and defense. One of his attributes that most people don't recognize is his passing. And I don't think there's anybody in the league who can guard him one on one. ... A guy like Tim Duncan gives a coach a wide range of things you can do. Tim can play with almost anybody, and there are a lot of guys who can't do that." USA Today Sports

Fourteen years after his first ring came with the likes of David Robinson on his side and Patrick Ewing on the other, Duncan could use another 30-point, 17-rebound outing like he had in Game 6 to help seal this deal. But Russell, who told Duncan five years ago that the Spurs star was the player who most reminded him of himself, will see him as a once-in-a-generation player even if he doesn't. "Playing with Tim Duncan creates great opportunities," said Russell ,who sat down with USA TODAY Sports after an appearance on NBA TV before Game 6. "Certain things happen, and it frees certain players. USA Today Sports

"(Late Celtics coach Red) Auerbach had a system where there's a place for every kind of player," Russell said. "Never once in the years he coached that I was there did I ever hear him say to a player, 'You have to change this.' He said my job as a coach is to figure out what you do, and find a place in the system." It's not all that different than what Popovich has been able to do with the Spurs, making the most of role players like Steve Kerr, Brent Barry, Bruce Bowen in the past and Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Matt Bonner in the present. Asked if he saw similarities between the Celtics' Red Auerbach and Popovich, Russell agreed. "Yeah," he said. "Even when they had a bad year, it was a good year. I think he does a remarkable job." USA Today Sports

June 19, 2013 Updates

If anyone knows what it takes to thrive in times like these, it's Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. The 11-time champion took part in 10 Game 7's, including five in the Finals — winning all 10 times and becoming the league's all-time leader in the category that matters most. "(Celtics coach) Red (Auerbach) used to have a phrase he used: 'I don't give a damn what they're going to do; This is what we're going to do.' " Russell told USA TODAY Sports. "The difference, especially in a seventh game, is 'Can I take my team and do what we do best?' And I'm going to respect the other team. The more I respect them — without fear, but respect — the better my chances are." USA Today Sports

June 18, 2013 Updates
June 5, 2013 Updates
May 23, 2013 Updates

If given the choice of any player in NBA history to start a franchise, legendary coach Phil Jackson says Celtics center Bill Russell would win out over his former player Michael Jordan. “In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell. He has won 11 championships as a player,” Jackson said in an interview with Time. “That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.” SI.com

May 3, 2013 Updates

Miami Heat star LeBron James is named Most Valuable Player for the fourth time, league sources confirmed Friday. James has been voted MVP for the second straight season and for the fourth time in the past five years. He'll join Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain with at least four MVP awards. ESPN.com

April 7, 2013 Updates

Only four men have won four MVP awards, and some believe they are the four greatest players ever. They are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four). “Anytime I’m mentioned with the greatest players to play the game or people period, it is a wow factor because I grew up and studied those guys and watched those guys, and a few of those guys were my inspiration growing up,’’ James said. James returned after missing three games due to a hamstring strain. He was just as good as before he left, if not better. FOXSports Florida

March 31, 2013 Updates

Apparently, that guy in the AT&T commercials is tired of speaking with children in order to highlight the company’s service offerings. The wireless provider went out and got Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell to appear in its most recent iteration of television spots, with the one in the video clip above featuring an emotionally sensitive Bird being reacting to Magic poking fun at his lack of speed on the court during his playing days. NBCSports.com

January 21, 2013 Updates

It was super cool to see Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell in attendance in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning at the inauguration of President Barack Obama for his second term in the Oval Office. It's not necessarily surprising — after all, the 78-year-old Russell was not only an exemplary athlete and champion, but also a proud, tireless advocate for civil and human rights who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Obama has previously recognized Russell's contributions to both sport and society by honoring him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. But still: Pretty cool. A bit less cool: Russell's identification by ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, one of the hosts of the network's coverage of the inauguration festivities, as captured by closed captioning and Deadspin's Timothy Burke: Yahoo! Sports

January 8, 2013 Updates

Iman Shumpert was joking the other day he’d be “thirsty’’ to have been around in the 1950s to get a chance to dunk on Bill Russell. Today, the cocksure Shumpert may have to be content to dunk on Tyson Chandler. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said last night Shumpert had knee tests yesterday and was on the verge of being medically cleared for his first 5-on-5 contact scrimmage — the last step in his eight-month comeback from an ACL tear. The Knicks practice today and tomorrow. New York Post

November 1, 2012 Updates

Uncle Drew has returned. Kyrie Irving’s brilliant Pepsi ad campaign has added Kevin Love to the “hustle street ballers dressed as old men” game. It is again well-executed and amusing. I just hope that the guy Kevin Love leveled with a screen got an autograph. Bill Russell even makes a cameo, telling Kyrie, “This game has always been – and will always be – about buckets.” The Big Lead

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