Why Is Bill Russell One of the Greatest Defenders in NBA History?
Start writing a post
Sports

Why Is Bill Russell One of the Greatest Defenders in NBA History?

Greatest Defenders

48
Why Is Bill Russell One of the Greatest Defenders in NBA History?

We think this defensive icon deserves even more recognition than he already gets.

A basketball champion with truly inimitable defensive skills, William Felton Russell (known famously as Bill Russell) was an NBA star that transformed the way players defended.


Born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana, U.S., Russell played 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics as the first outstanding defensive centre in the history of the NBA. He was also the very first African American coach of a modern major professional sports team in the U.S. when he was titled the player-coach of the Celtics in the year 1966.

Standing at a shade over 6-foot-9, Russell was one of the strongest defensive athletes the league had ever witnessed. With a remarkable 11 championship wins for the Boston Celtics over the course of his career, this 12x All-Star and 5x MVP posted a sensational 133.64 defensive win shares that made him a true force to be reckoned with.

Born to block

During Russell’s NBA run, the league didn’t track blocks, steals, or defensive rebounds - so no one could say with certainty just how many shots the star center rejected.

But according to J.D. Anderson Celtics24/7, it’s safe to say that the Celtics big man likely averaged between seven and nine blocks per game across his career - and with the knowledge that he was averaging 22.5 rebounds per outing as well, it’s not impractical to assume that at least half of these came on the defensive end.

And on top of that, if you factor in that Russell also likely recorded several steals per night - you can conjure up a more clear understanding of just how power he was as a defender.

Russell is one of the greatest - if not, the greatest

There’s really not much to be debated about Russell’s unrivalled knack for denfending on the court. And if we had the advantage of today’s modern statistics to also take into consideration, this defensive prodigy would probably look even more impressive than he does to us now.

For a full list of greatest NBA defenders of all time, visit Champions Basketball Network.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Six Lies Fed to Your Mind, By Your Mind.

These thoughts will drive you mad.

4892
pexels

Life is hard, and is even harder with a mental illness. Even if you aren't clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety, in the hardest times of your life you can probably associate with several of these thoughts. Fear not, everyone else is thinking them too. Maybe we just need a big, loving, group therapy session (or six).

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

It will be okay, eventually.

7118
A Letter To My Heartbroken Self
Pexels

Breakups are hard. There's nothing comparable to the pain of losing someone you thought would be in your life forever. Someone who said all the right things at the right times. Someone who would give you the reassurance you needed, whenever you needed it. And then one day, it just... stops. Something changes. Something makes you feel like you're suddenly not good enough for him, or anyone for that matter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America

For the first time since 1994 the United States will host a world cup (for men's soccer)

7884
2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America
Skylar Meyers

The FIFA World Cup is coming to North American in 2026!

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.

8658

Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments