Bill Russell, who was born on February 12, 1934, is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In my opinion, he was the greatest. He played for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969, and won 11 NBA championships. In his career, he was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 12-time NBA All-Star, and a three-time member of the All-NBA First Team. He is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; and, in 2011, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Here are 10 fun facts about the Hall of Fame basketball player:
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #1:
Besides being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Russell was inducted into the Sport in Society Hall of Fame, in 2000.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #2:
He was the first African-American to coach a team in a professional sports league. Russell coached the Celtics to NBA titles in 1967-1968 and in 1968-1969. It should also be noted that he also coached for the Seattle Supersonics and the Sacramento Kings.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #3:
The Professional Basketball Writers Association of America claimed that Russell was the “Greatest Player in the History of the NBA,” in 1980.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #4:
As one would expect, his jersey number, #6, has been retired by the Celtics.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #5:
Another interesting fact is that his second wife, Dorothy “Didi” Anstett, was the 1968 Miss USA.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #6:
He was inducted into the ESPN Boston Hall of Fame in 2011, which was the inaugural class. Some other professional sports figures were also inducted; they were Red Auerbach, Larry Bird, Bobby Orr, and Ted Williams.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #7:
Unlike some other professional athletes, the former Celtics player refuses to sign autographs.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #8:
As previously mentioned, Russell helped the Celtics win 11 championships in 13 seasons. It should be noted, however, that he did not enjoy playing in Boston as he often encountered racism.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #9:
He was an excellent rebounder. In fact, his career rebounding total is 21,620. He averaged 22.5 rebounds per game.
10 Fun Facts About Bill Russell #10:
The last interesting fact is that, on November 16, 1957, he established the NBA single-game record for most rebounds in a half, with 32.
“Bill Russell,” Basketball-Reference.com.
“Bill Russell Fast Facts,” CNN.com.
Gary Dzen, “Bill Russell Says He Didn’t Know How Many Championships He Won in a Row,” Boston.com.