Quarantine Question of the Day: Why is Bill Russell overlooked in the G.O.A.T. conversation?
It seems to be in vogue for talking heads to debate whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the NBA's greatest of all time, aka G.O.A.T. But reality is you play to win the game and no one won like Bill Russell. 11 rings in 13 seasons.
Russell averaged 15 points and 23 rebounds a game over thirteen seasons (and even more in the playoffs). And again, eleven of those seasons ended in championships. They didn't keep track of blocks back then, but I'm pretty confident that if they did, Russell would have averaged north of ten a game, which would have had him averaging a triple double for his career.
The argument against Russell is that the competition was weak back in his day, but wasn't there a bigger player named Wilt Chamberlain who was pretty athletic who Bill defeated time and time again? Also there's the argument that he wouldn't be as successful in the modern game, but that's a little like comparing apples to oranges. If Russell came around later he'd undoubtedly have all the advantages that more recent players have. Private team planes, personal trainers, state of the art gyms, big men coaches, sports scientists, and so on. Who's to say that a Russell in the modern era wouldn't have had 3-point range?
Most times I think it's pretty unfair to compare players between eras and eliminate certain ones due to when they played in the NBA. And I find the incessant "Is Jordan or LeBron the greatest of all time?" debates by talking heads on what seems like a daily basis to be such overkill. But with all of that said, if I'm going to be forced to hear that debate and hear names like Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, and Kareem, then I'm going to ask where is Bill Russell in this conversation? Because you're debating one player's stats versus another, and in my person opinion Bill Russell's are above all the other options. If you average a likely triple double (if blocks were counted) and win the championship 85% of the time, who tops that?
Today's question: Who do you have as the NBA's G.O.A.T?
If its not Bill Russell, then it would be great to hear your rationale why the vote is for someone else. I mean honestly I can respect any vote for Michael Jordan. I'd strongly consider voting for him myself. Just don't really get why Bill Russell seems to have become an afterthought in the debate.
Unfortunately we will have no recaps or Green Envy's for a while, so figured it might be fun and give people a distraction to debate in the comment section on a different question every day while we are stuck in this new normal.