William Felton "Bill" Russell (born February 12, 1934 in Monroe, died July 31, 2022 in Mercer Island) - American basketball player and first black coach in the NBA, eleven-time champion with the Boston Celtics team (including twice as a playing coach). Olympic men's basketball champion from Melbourne in 1956.
He graduated from the University of San Francisco, where he won the NCAA Championship twice. In 1956 he was drafted by St. Louis Hawks, but played from the beginning in the Celtics, winning the title of the NBA Champion eleven times with this team, in the years 1957, 1959-1966, 1968-1969. He was announced the MVP of the season five times, in 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965. He played 12 times in the All-Star Match.
First of all, a great defender, the first NBA basketball player to exceed the average of 20 rebounds per season. His record is 51 (second highest ever) and his career average is 22.5. A staple player of the famous Red Auerbach dynasty in Boston.
In the 1958/1959 and 1959/1960 seasons, he came second in the voting for the MVP of the main phase.
Appointed his successor by Auerbach in 1966, he became the first black coach in the history of American professional leagues. He then coached the Seattle SuperSonics (1973–1977) and Sacramento Kings (1987–1988) teams, but was not so successful.
He is one of more than 40 players in history to win both the NCAA and NBA championships during their sporting career.
In 1975 he was honored with a membership in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Chosen for all Anniversary Teams announced: the 25th Anniversary Team, the 35th Anniversary Team, the 50th Most Outstanding Players of All Time and the 75th Anniversary Team.
He also worked as a TV commentator and wrote books.
Since 2009, the MVP of the NBA Finals has been named after him.
two-time NCAA champion (1955–56)
NCAA Player of the Year according to:
Helms Foundation (1955-1956)
United Press International (1956)
Most Outstanding Player (MOP MVP) of the NCAA Tournament (1955 - Equivalent to the MVP of the NBA Finals)
1st All-American squad (1955-1956)
Academic Basketball Hall of Fame (2006)
11-time NBA champion (1957, 1959–66, 1968–69)
NBA runner-up (1958)
NBA regular season (1958, 1961–63, 1965)
NBA Star Match (1963)
Attended a NBA All-Star Match 12 times (1958–69)
NBA 1st squad (1959, 1963, 1965)
defensive NBA (1969)
II squad of the NBA (1958, 1960–62, 1964, 1966–68)
regular season in rebounds (1958–59, 1964–65)
playoffs in medium rebounds (1957–1961, 1963, 1964)
The Boston Celtics Club has reserved its number 6 club
4 times among the best players in the history of the NBA on the occasion of the anniversary celebrations:
25th Anniversary Team - NBA 25th Anniversary Team
35th Anniversary Team - NBA 35th Anniversary Team
50th Anniversary - NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
75th Anniversary Team - NBA 75th Anniversary Team (2021)
(As of March 8, 2018, based on unless otherwise stated.)
One-half rebounds - 32 - against the Philadelphia Warriors on November 16, 1957
in a row, with an average of over 20 rebounds per game - 10, shared with Wilt Chamberlain
with an average of over 20 rebounds per game - 10, shared with Wilt Chamberlain
minutes spent on the dance floor during an All-Star meeting - 42 - 1964, shared with Oscar Robertson (1964), Jerry West (1964), Nat Thurmond (1967)
Selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame:
them. James Naismith (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame - 1975)
Olympic champion (1956)
two-time NBA champion (1968–1969)
Coach of the team of the East during the NBA Legends match (1986)
Profile on nba.com