The passing of NBA legend Bill Russell took the world by surprise on Sunday.
Given how much Russell contributed to sports, it stands to reason that countless people are feeling emotional about his passing. One person who has already shared her thoughts is Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss.
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) July 31, 2022
There is no doubt about how much of a “treasure” Russell was as a human being. Even Lakers fans can agree on that despite the fact that Russell played for the organization’s fiercest rival for his entire career.
Russell was a thorn in the Lakers’ side during his playing days, which spanned from 1956 to 1969. From the moment he set foot on the court in a Boston Celtics uniform, it was clear that the 6-foot-10 center was going to become a special player.
He was fantastic on defense and could contain opposing big men by deterring shots in the paint. In addition, Russell was an incredible rebounder. In his rookie season, he recorded a league-high 19.6 rebounds per game. He finished his career with an average of 22.5 rebounds per contest.
Russell helped Boston win 11 championships in total. Some of those came at the expense of the Lakers franchise.
In the 1959 NBA Finals, the Celtics handed the Lakers, who were still based in Minneapolis then, their first Finals loss. What followed was a run of dominance by the Celtics, who defeated the Lakers in a handful of NBA Finals meetings throughout the 1960s.
Russell certainly left his mark on the rivalry, and he made a huge impact on the world as well.