Bill Russell Rumors

Adam Silver: I only say that because long before there was even a movement called Black Lives Matter, there was the NBA. There was Bill Russell, there was Oscar Robertson and Wayne Embry and Lenny Wilkens and all these great Black leaders within the league. Part of what I’m focusing on is finding our own voice for next season and putting us in a leadership position on these issues, and—maybe I’m naive to say this—putting us in a role to unify people as well. Now, some people might suggest that the words Black Lives Matter are causing massive amounts of people to tune out the NBA. There’s absolutely no data to support that. And in fact, as I said, there’s no doubt there are some people—and whether or not they were truly our fans to begin with is unclear—who have become further engaged with the league because they believe in our players and they believe in the positions they’ve taken, even if they don’t agree with everything they say. They respect their right to speak out on issues that are important to them.
Isiah Thomas: “Now in the White community, that might be different. Tom Brady doesn’t have to speak for and Joe Montana doesn’t have to speak for the White community and uplift them in America. In the Black community, it’s always been different; whether it be Joe Louis when he was fighting Max Schmeling and how important that fight was; Jesse Owens winning the gold medal in Germany and how important that was, Tommy Smith [and John Carlos]…so when you look at Muhammad Ali; Muhammad Ali wasn’t the greatest because he could knock people out – Muhammad Ali was the greatest because of what he did outside of the playing field; outside of the ring. So the champion has always carried that mantle; particularly in the NBA – Bill Russell carried it, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar carried it, Dr. J carried it, I carried it and now LeBron is doing it.
Wade recently explained why it doesn’t matter who is the GOAT because we will never see another LeBron James or another Michael Jordan and we should really appreciate the things we witnessed with MJ and what we’re witnessing with Bron now. “When we talk about the GOAT conversations, it doesn’t matter who is the GOAT. He (James) is one-of-one, we will never see another him, we will never see another him, we will never see another Jordan, we will never see another Kareem. No one will ever win 11 championships like Bill Russell. Or I think. Maybe one day somebody will win 12. I just want to enjoy watching and I told LeBron this; this is the first time I’ve ever watched you as a real fan. This is the first time I’ve watched him as a total fan and I texted him, I said ‘bro, you’re f—ing good,” like he’s an animal; he’s one of the best basketball players that’s ever played the game because of the way he plays the game. You know not many players have ever played the game the way he does it and it’s just special to watch.”
Hartman was certain that the Lakers without Mikkelsen or any of the Kentucky players available would have finished with the worst record, affording them the No. 1 draft pick. Hartman had already targeted University of San Francisco center Bill Russell as the man he wanted. According to Hartman, Lakers radio play-by-play man Dick Enroth was a huge Mikkelsen fan and didn’t want to spend the 1954-55 season watching a last-place team. Enroth took Berger out to lunch and pleaded with him not to make the deal. Berger opted to hold on to Mikkelsen, and the rest is history. Russell was drafted by Boston and proceeded to lead the Celtics to 13 titles in 15 seasons.
Nevertheless, if we look at just top statistical postseason tandems for any two teammates and not just those who won championships, James and Davis still rank at No. 9 overall, behind two different versions of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor (from 1961-62 and 1960-61) and four duos that featured Wilt Chamberlain when he was at his absolute peak, plus the aforementioned Shaq and Kobe and Kareem and Magic partnerships. In fairness to the old-school duos, particularly to the ones led by Bill Russell and Chamberlain after him, the NBA didn’t start recording blocks or steals until 1973-74, so they could have ranked even higher if not for that.