45 Facts About Bill Russell

1. Bill Russell won about 50 percent of the ballots in a six-way race, ahead of 41 percent for fellow City Councilor Bill Moseley.

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2. Bill Russell loves sticking it to Charles Barkley, and he got another opportunity Thursday night.

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3. Bill Russell wore his Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the image was captioned with "Proud to take a knee, and to stand tall against social injustice.

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4. On September 26, 2017, Bill Russell posted a photograph of himself to a previously unused Twitter account in which he was taking a knee in solidarity with NFL players kneeling during the US national anthem.

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5. When Bill Russell originally retired, he demanded that his jersey be retired in an empty Boston Garden.

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6. In response, Bill Russell described Boston as a "flea market of racism".

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7. In 1966, Bill Russell was promoted to head coach of the Boston Celtics.

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8. Bill Russell was driven by "a neurotic need to win", as his Celtic teammate Heinsohn observed.

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9. On October 16, 2013, Bill Russell was arrested for bringing a loaded.

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10. Bill Russell is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, having been initiated into its Gamma Alpha chapter while a student at University of San Francisco.

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11. In 1996, Bill Russell married his third wife, Marilyn Nault; their marriage lasted until her death in January 2009.

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12. Bill Russell was married to his college sweetheart Rose Swisher from 1956 to 1973.

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13. Bill Russell was named as a 2010 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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14. For his achievements, Bill Russell was named "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated in 1968.

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15. Bill Russell is universally seen as one of the best NBA players ever, and was declared "Greatest Player in the History of the NBA" by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America in 1980.

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16. In his career, Bill Russell won five regular season MVP awards—tied with Michael Jordan for second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's six awards.

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17. Bill Russell was known as one of the most clutch players in the NBA.

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18. Bill Russell had seven regular season games with 40 or more rebounds, the NBA Finals record for highest rebound per game average and by a rookie (22.9 rpg, 1957).

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19. In his first NBA full season, Bill Russell became the first player in NBA history to average more than 20 rebounds per game for an entire season, a feat he accomplished 10 times in his 13 seasons.

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20. In the interim, Bill Russell won an Olympic gold medal in 1956.

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21. Bill Russell is one of the most successful and decorated athletes in North American sports history.

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22. Bill Russell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

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23. On June 18, 2007, Bill Russell was inducted as a member of the founding class of the FIBA Hall of Fame.

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24. Bill Russell wrote books, usually written as a joint project with a professional writer, including 1979's Second Wind.

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25. Bill Russell became a vegetarian, took up golf and worked as a color commentator for CBS and TBS throughout the 1970s into the mid-1980s, but he was uncomfortable as a broadcaster.

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26. At age 35, Bill Russell contributed 21 rebounds in his last NBA game.

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27. Bill Russell limited Chamberlain to only two shot attempts in the second half.

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28. Bill Russell acknowledged the first real loss of his career by visiting Chamberlain in the locker room, shaking his hand and saying, "Great".

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29. In Game 5, Bill Russell contributed 28 rebounds, 10 blocks, seven assists and six steals.

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30. Bill Russell scored 15.0 ppg and grabbed a career-high 24.7 rebounds per game, leading the NBA in rebounds for the first time since Chamberlain entered the league.

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31. In the pivotal Game 7, Bill Russell managed to hold Chamberlain to only 22 points while scoring 19 himself.

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32. In the highly competitive Game 7, Bill Russell tried his best to slow down Pettit, but it was Heinsohn who scored 37 points and kept the Celtics alive.

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33. Bill Russell ignored Heinsohn's plea to give his cousin an autograph, and openly said to Heinsohn that he deserved half of his $300 Rookie of the Year check.

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34. With his teammates, Bill Russell had a cordial relationship, with the notable exception of fellow rookie and old rival Heinsohn.

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35. Bill Russell led the team in scoring, averaging 14.1 points per game for the competition.

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36. Bill Russell competed in the 440 yards race, which he could complete in 49.6 seconds.

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37. Bill Russell led USF to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, including a string of 55 consecutive victories.

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38. In his USF years, Bill Russell used his relative lack of bulk to develop a unique style of defense: instead of purely guarding the opposing center, he used his quickness and speed to play help defense against opposing forwards and aggressively challenge their shots.

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39. In his early years, Bill Russell struggled to develop his skills as a basketball player.

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40. When Bill Russell was eight years old, his father moved the family out of Louisiana and settled in Oakland, California.

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41. Bill Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal.

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42. Bill Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.

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43. Bill Russell is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.

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44. Bill Russell played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969.

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45. Bill Russell says, "I ordered my medium greenhouse with a door should help extend my growing season significantly.

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