NBA analyst says Bill Russell causes problems for any ranking systems based on his accomplishments

Tragic news broke over the weekend that Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell had passed away at the age of 88. After being picked second overall in 1956, the six-foot-tall center became one of the tallest players ever seen.

Bill Russell played 963 games for the Celtics and recorded career averages of 15.1 points, 22.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He also spent some time as a coach during which he had a 341-290 record. Russell is one of the select few to be twice inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

There are countless awards Bill Russell has received throughout his career, but one stands out above the rest. Those are his 11 championship rings. No player has ever come close to reaching that mark and probably never will.

In a tribute to the NBA legend, FS1’s Nick Wright brought up Bill Russell’s 11 titles. He feels this achievement makes it harder to properly rank players of all time.

“Bill Russell creates a problem for any leaderboard because if we agree that the goal of team sport is to win, then what do you do with a guy who’s lapped the field a couple of times when it comes to winning goes, and it wasn’t just the 11 championships, it’s that in his basketball life he’s never lost a game where everything and everyone is at stake.”

Is Nick Wright right about Bill Russell messing up the all-time rankings?

Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

While Wright is making a valid point regarding the all-time rankings, it’s hard to tell if Bill Russell influenced things in any way. Even with his 11 championships, he’s not universally regarded as the greatest player of all time. In fact, most people might not even have the Celtics in their top five.

Coach Pop on the death of NBA legend Bill Russell.

What Russell did was an impressive performance and he deserves a lot of credit for performing in big games and being the ideal teammate. That being said, most understand that circumstances play a tiny part in things.

One reason nobody has come close to his brand is because of the size of the league today. In its early days, the NBA consisted of only about eight teams. With much less competition, a dominant force like Russell could come along and achieve the success he’s had.

Regardless of the size of the league, Russell is still one of the best players to ever step onto an NBA court. While no one is likely ever to match his ring count, he hasn’t tarnished any all-time lists.

Edited by Kevin McCormick NBA analyst says Bill Russell causes problems for any ranking systems based on his accomplishments

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