More proof that Bill Russell is the greatest of all time
Finding a basketball star that can put up big numbers isn't the hardest task in the world. Finding a player that can not only turn your team into a winner, but also champion is much harder. This is why Michael Jordan is often referred to as the G.O.A.T, due to his 6-0 record in the NBA Finals.
But Bill Russell won 11 championships and the only time he failed in the Finals was due to being sidelined with an injury. Russell was about as close to perfect as could be. And comparing Russell to modern players is foolish, since if he had played today, he would have had all the 12 month training that modern players have. He'd fly on private planes and have all the perks that players nowadays have. Not to mention the fact, he wouldn't have to deal with the brutal racism he dealt with back in his day.
And when Russell played there was no 3-point line, so there was never a reason for him to work on an outside shot. Prior to the NBA adding the 3-point line in the 1980's, if you were a big man who could score down low, you stayed down low. If Russell had played in the modern era, he would have grown up working on a jumper as well and likely would have had a reliable 3-pointer. Why? Becuause Russell did what was needed to win. Full stop.
The below chart shows just how much in his own class Russell was:
In memory of Bill Russell after his passing yesterday, I have created an interactive timeline of the Top-20 Defensive Win Share leaders in NBA history, with Russell at the top!
I know the talking heads love to debate daily whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James deserves the title of "Greatest Of All Time," but the answer is really Bill Russell. All he did was win. And if he played in a different era, he would have adjusted his game to do the same during that period.