Boston Celtics: Compiling an all-time starting 5

Boston Celtics mascot (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics mascot (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Bill Russell, center

So whenever the discussion of players who are considered the GOAT is brought up, the narrative always defaults to Jordan, LeBron and maybe Kobe. But why is this man never mentioned in the discussion?

His awards and achievements include 11 NBA championships as a player with the Boston Celtics in 13 seasons (including two NBA championships as player/head coach). Russell became the first of only four players in basketball history to win an NCAA championship and an NBA Championship back-to-back in 1956 and ’57.

In addition to his eleven championship rings, he was a five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star selection. Eleven times he was chosen to either First or Second All-NBA Team. He was also recognized by the NBA for the anniversary teams for the league’s 25th, 35th and 50th seasons.

Career-wise in rebounds, Russell ranks second to Wilt Chamberlain in regular-season total (21,620) and average per game (22.5), and he led the NBA in average rebounds per game four times.

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Despite lower totals of career points per game (15.1), shooting percentage (44 percent) and free throw percentage (56 percent), Russell was a fierce competitor with an incredibly high basketball IQ.