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Old 05-08-2018, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,298,652 times
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With the Cav's success thus far in the playoffs, there is a lot of talk about LeBron replacing Jordan as the 'greatest of all time.' The Captain Class is a book from last year by Sam Walker.


https://www.npr.org/2017/05/14/52837...-one-character


The author wanted to write a column about the greatest teams in all sports, and what their common characteristics were. He ended up researching the matter for 11 years; hence the book. He made up objective criteria for 'greatest.' Two NBA teams made the list--the Russell-era Celtics, and the Duncan-era Spurs. Jordan's Bulls did not make the list, IIRC, because they did not meet the longevity criterion. BTW this book is a good read for any sports fan.


The author did find one commonality in the greats--they all had a definite team leader, including Russell and Duncan. Neither were rah-rah types; they led mostly by example.


As for Russell:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
[O]ne of the first teams I looked at was the Boston Celtics and Bill Russell. You know, the moment he showed up his rookie season, they won their first title. And they won their last of that streak the year before he retired. And after that, they fell off. They'd never won a championship before he showed up, and it took them a long time to get back there after he left. And this happened over and over. Every team I looked at, there was a real clear cutoff that was readily apparent.

Russell didn't have the star power of Jordan or James. He averaged 15 points/game over his career. But he had something they did not: leadership. Russell won 11 rings in his 13 years in the NBA.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,298,652 times
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Interestingly, Duncan as a college student worked on a psychology paper entitled 'Blowhards, snobs, and narcissists....' What he learned thereby might account as much for his NBA success as what he learned in games. He turned out to be the quintessence of the 'captain class.'https://www.esquire.com/sports/news/...cademic-paper/
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:52 PM
 
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Russel played on an utterly stacked Celtics team in a much smaller league and was not the equal of Wilt Chamberlin in that era but slowed him down enough to have his incredible supporting cast do their thing.

If you want to redefine "GOAT" to a sole metric like leadership then sub-divide the category of GOAT into things like *leader*, *player* etc.

I *LOVE* Bill Russel, he's one of the greats but ATG? I can't accept that.

Lebron is clearly in the conversation for ATG and I'm a Bulls fan.

Again, it all depends upon which criteria you value.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,298,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Russel played on an utterly stacked Celtics team in a much smaller league and was not the equal of Wilt Chamberlin in that era but slowed him down enough to have his incredible supporting cast do their thing.

If you want to redefine "GOAT" to a sole metric like leadership then sub-divide the category of GOAT into things like *leader*, *player* etc.

I *LOVE* Bill Russel, he's one of the greats but ATG? I can't accept that.

Lebron is clearly in the conversation for ATG and I'm a Bulls fan.

Again, it all depends upon which criteria you value.

Agreed, except that I doubt that the Celtics were stacked. I didn't follow back then, but according to the book they were a relatively star-less team. What's more significant is that they didn't win a title until 1956 when Russell was a rookie, and after he retired in 1969, they again stopped winning titles.


Russell played 13 years and won 11 titles. Lebron could end up playing 20 years, and still won't come close to 11. Also I think we should consider that, after 1959, Russell had to contend with the freak Wilt Chamberlain, a 7 footer who could do everything but shoot free throws, and who competed as a distance runner in college at 7' tall!
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:09 PM
 
7,746 posts, read 4,595,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Russel played on an utterly stacked Celtics team in a much smaller league and was not the equal of Wilt Chamberlin in that era but slowed him down enough to have his incredible supporting cast do their thing.

If you want to redefine "GOAT" to a sole metric like leadership then sub-divide the category of GOAT into things like *leader*, *player* etc.

I *LOVE* Bill Russel, he's one of the greats but ATG? I can't accept that.

Lebron is clearly in the conversation for ATG and I'm a Bulls fan.

Again, it all depends upon which criteria you value.
This is the only time I've completely agreed with you about anything. Wilt, Jordan, Kareem and Lebron. Those are the four acceptable arguments for GOAT.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:10 PM
 
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[quote=Mathguy;51840339]Russel played on an utterly stacked Celtics team in a much smaller league and was not the equal of Wilt Chamberlain in that era but slowed him down enough to have his incredible supporting cast do their thing.
]

In Bill Russell's era of playing you could literally field a starting five with Russell and call them the NBA Hall Of Fame Starting 5! Celtics who are in the Hall with #6--

Bob Cousy--13 time NBA all star
Sam Jones--5 time NBA all star
K.C. Jones
Tommy Heinson--6 time NBA all star
John Havlicek-13 time NBAll star
Frank Ramsey
Bailey Howell--6 time NBA all star
Bill Sharman--8 time NBA all star

Ramsey started his career a couple years before Russell, IIRC he started in 1954. Bailey Howell played for a couple other NBA clubs but his years with the Celtics were from 1965-1970.

Red Auerbach- NBA HOFER as well.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:37 AM
 
52,095 posts, read 41,903,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Agreed, except that I doubt that the Celtics were stacked. I didn't follow back then, but according to the book they were a relatively star-less team.
That "star-less" team had Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman 1st team all-nbaers for the first 4years Russell was on the team. In 1958-9 Russell finally joined them on the 1st team all-nba roster.

Yeah they had 3 of the 5 guys on all-nba 1st team that year.

Most years on the Celtics Russell had 2 all-nba players on the floor with him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-NBA_Team
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:28 PM
 
7,746 posts, read 4,595,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
That "star-less" team had Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman 1st team all-nbaers for the first 4years Russell was on the team. In 1958-9 Russell finally joined them on the 1st team all-nba roster.

Yeah they had 3 of the 5 guys on all-nba 1st team that year.

Most years on the Celtics Russell had 2 all-nba players on the floor with him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-NBA_Team
Bill Russell does not have a championship team with fewer than four Hall of Famerís. One of those teams had seven.
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,298,652 times
Reputation: 7950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
That "star-less" team had Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman 1st team all-nbaers for the first 4years Russell was on the team. In 1958-9 Russell finally joined them on the 1st team all-nba roster.

Yeah they had 3 of the 5 guys on all-nba 1st team that year.

Most years on the Celtics Russell had 2 all-nba players on the floor with him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-NBA_Team
OK, you've got me on that one.


But in my favor, as the book points out, the Celtics didn't win a title until Russell arrived in 1956. They won the title his rookie year. And the year he was gone was the year they stopped winning titles.


Jordan did not win a title until his 7th year (granted the Bulls were horrible when they got him). Lebron won his first title his 10th year in the league (2012) and has 2 more since that.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,849 posts, read 3,979,281 times
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Please, there was a small fraction of talent back when Russell played compared to recent decades. Russell was offensively challenged and you're talking GOAT? I doubt he was any better then Ben Wallace. You're just stuck in nostalgia land.

Olajuwon and Shaq to name just 2 would have used him like a rental car.
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