"Defense is a science, not a helter-skelter thing you just luck into. Every move has six or seven years of work behind it."
— Bill Russell
Bill Russell re-imagined basketball, bringing an exciting new level of play to the game. His analytical defensive style consisted of more than rebounding: he blocked shots and altered the plays of his opponents. During his playing career as center for the Boston Celtics, the team won 11 NBA championships. Russell earned five MVPs, played in 12 All-Star games, and led the NBA in rebounds five times. Russell's innovative defensive strategies remain the key to championship basketball.
In 1967, when Russell began coaching the Boston Celtics, he became the first African American to coach a major professional sports team.
In 1980, the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America voted him "Greatest Player in the History of the NBA." Many fans still agree.
Name: William Felton Russell
Born: Monroe, Louisiana, 1934–