Bill Russell

Russell in 2011
Russell practicing a free throw at USF, c. 1953–56
Russell is all-smiles during his two national championship seasons at USF.
Russell, c. 1960
Russell and coach Red Auerbach with his trademark victory Blackstone cigar after winning the 1966 NBA championship
Russell in 2005
Former President Bill Clinton and Russell at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2014
A bronze statue of Russell in Boston, 2013
Russell defending against Chamberlain in 1966
Russell with coach Red Auerbach in his rookie season, as they are seated on the sidelines. Auerbach refused to have a color barrier for the Celtics. Following his retirement in 1966, he handed off coaching duties to Russell as a player-coach.

American former professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

- Bill Russell
Russell in 2011

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Cliff Alexander blocks a shot during the 2013 IHSA playoffs.

Block (basketball)

Offensive player to prevent a score.

Offensive player to prevent a score.

Cliff Alexander blocks a shot during the 2013 IHSA playoffs.
Mirza Begić blocks Duško Savanović at the EuroBasket 2011.
Shawn James

Largely due to their height and position near the basket, centers and power forwards tend to record the most blocks, but shorter players with good jumping ability can also be blockers, an example being Dwyane Wade, the shortest player, at 6'4", to record 100 blocked shots in a single season. A player with the ability to block shots can be a positive asset to a team's defense, as they can make it difficult for opposing players to shoot near the basket and, when keeping the basketball in play, as opposed to swatting it out of bounds, a blocked shot can lead to a fast break, a skill Bill Russell was notable for. To be a good shot-blocker, a player needs great court sense and timing, and good height or jumping ability. One tactic is that a shot-blocker can intimidate opponents to alter their shots, resulting in a miss.

After the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 and Joe Fagan's subsequent resignation as manager, Kenny Dalglish served as the player-manager of Liverpool from 1985 to 1990.

Player-coach

Member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties.

Member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties.

After the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 and Joe Fagan's subsequent resignation as manager, Kenny Dalglish served as the player-manager of Liverpool from 1985 to 1990.
Bill Russell served as the player-coach of the Boston Celtics from 1966 to 1969, winning 2 NBA championships in that timespan.
Pete Rose is the most recent player-manager in Major League Baseball

Many notable coaches in the NBA served as player-coaches, including Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens.

San Francisco Dons men's basketball

The San Francisco Dons men's basketball team represents the University of San Francisco in NCAA Division I men's college basketball.

The San Francisco Dons men's basketball team represents the University of San Francisco in NCAA Division I men's college basketball.

Bill Russell playing for USF.
The 1956 team that won the NCAA championship. Bill Russell (center) is holding the ball.

The latter two were under Phil Woolpert, and led by player and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959

Wilt Chamberlain

American professional basketball player who played as a center.

American professional basketball player who played as a center.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959
Chamberlain grabbing a rebound during a 1960 game against the New York Knicks
Chamberlain in 1962
Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond of the San Francisco Warriors competing for a rebound in 1966
Chamberlain in 1967
Chamberlain playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics
Elmore Smith and Chamberlain fighting for a rebound in 1971
Chamberlain with the Lakers in 1972
Chamberlain statue in South Philadelphia
Chamberlain historical marker outside of Philadelphia's Overbrook High School
Chamberlain being defended by the Celtics' Bill Russell in 1966
Chamberlain doing the twist with two dancers at Smalls Paradise in Harlem, New York

During his time in the NBA, Chamberlain enjoyed an on-court rivalry with Boston Celtics' Bill Russell.

National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

Hall of fame and museum dedicated to men's college basketball.

Hall of fame and museum dedicated to men's college basketball.

Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Dean Smith, John Wooden, and the family of James Naismith, were selected to represent the inaugural class.

Jerry West, the inaugural recipient, is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team.

NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award

Annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1969 NBA Finals.

Annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1969 NBA Finals.

Jerry West, the inaugural recipient, is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won twice in 1971 and 1985, holds the record for the longest gap between awards
Magic Johnson is the only player to win the award as a rookie.
Michael Jordan has won the award a record six times.
Shaquille O'Neal is the only player other than Michael Jordan to have won the award three times consecutively.
Tony Parker was the second player born outside the US to win the award, joining Hakeem Olajuwon.
LeBron James (pictured) is the only player to win the award with three different teams.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (pictured) is the most recent winner and the first player from Greece to win the award.

The award was originally a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry O'Brien Trophy, until a new trophy was introduced in 2005 to commemorate Bill Russell.

Iñaki de Miguel, Spanish basketball player, capturing a rebound in an international game.

Rebound (basketball)

Statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw.

Statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw.

Iñaki de Miguel, Spanish basketball player, capturing a rebound in an international game.
Josh Jackson and Jarrett Allen (#31) crash the offensive boards at the 2016 McDonald's All-American Boys Game.
Paul White (#13) and L. J. Peak (#10) box out D. J. Williams (#4) While Jahlil Okafor boxes out Jabari Parker on a Kendrick Nunn free throw during a Chicago Public High School League game between Simeon Career Academy and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School at the Jones Convocation Center
Wilt Chamberlain in 1960, when he averaged 27 rebounds per game.

Bill Russell – first player to average over 20 rebounds per game in the regular season, ranks second to Chamberlain in regular season total (21,620) and average (22.5) rebounds, averaged more than 20 rebounds per game in 10 of 13 seasons played, grabbed 51 rebounds in a single game (second best ever), grabbed a record 32 rebounds in one half, grabbed 40 rebounds in the NBA Finals twice, and is the all-time playoff leader in total (4,104) and average (24.9 rpg) rebounds.

Richard with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1960s

Henri Richard

Canadian professional ice hockey player who played centre with the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1955 to 1975.

Canadian professional ice hockey player who played centre with the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1955 to 1975.

Richard with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1960s
Henri Richard signing autographs in 2011

Richard and Bill Russell of the National Basketball Association are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league.

NBA Finals

Annual championship series of the National Basketball Association .

Annual championship series of the National Basketball Association .

Bill Russell (off ball) was a member of one of the first dynasties in the NBA, winning eight straight titles while contending against Wilt Chamberlain (on ball).
The 1980s saw a renewal in the rivalry between the Boston Celtics (green) and the Los Angeles Lakers (gold), combining to win eight titles.
Michael Jordan combined with Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson to win six NBA championships.
Kobe Bryant was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers that won five NBA championships from 2000 to 2010.
Tim Duncan won five championships with the San Antonio Spurs from 1999 to 2014.
Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to both the best regular season and postseason records in NBA history, and 3 championships.

With the establishment of the Celtics dynasty in 1957, spearheaded by center Bill Russell, the team saw great success.

United States men's national basketball team

Basketball team representing the United States.

Basketball team representing the United States.

Danny Manning and the Navy's David Robinson battle Arvydas Sabonis in the 1988 Olympic semi-finals
U.S. v Argentina at the 1995 Pan American Games
Shaquille O'Neal, part of the 1996 team that competed at the Summer Olympics
Team USA members warm up before the game in 2004 in Belgrade Arena
The USA players standing prior to a game against China in the Beijing Olympics
The 2012 team practicing in Washington, D.C.

Participation in these tournaments were limited to amateurs, but the US teams during this period featured players who would later go on to become superstars in professional basketball, including all-time greats Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Jerry Lucas; the latter three competed on the 1960 Rome team often credited as the best U.S. roster until the formation of the 1992 Dream Team.