Bill Russell squares off against Adam Vinatieri in the third round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Bill Russell Bill Russell has a championship ring for every finger and one for a toe. The 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star is Boston’s winningest player ever. A Celtic for his entire 13-year NBA career, Russell tallied 14,522 points, 21,620 rebounds and 4,100 assists for the Green, leading to the retirement of his No. 6. Arguably the greatest defensive player in the game’s history, Russell is the all-time playoff leader in total rebounds (4,104) and rebounds per game (24.9), grabbing 40 rebounds in three separate postseason contests. Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, Russell was selected to the All-NBA First and Second Teams a combined 11 times. In 2009, the NBA named the Finals MVP trophy in Russell’s honor, a fitting gesture to recognize the most decorated athlete in Boston sports history.
5. Adam Vinatieri Big games and pressure situations turned Adam Vinatieri from being a placekicker to a household name. In 10 seasons with the Patriots, Vinatieri played in four Super Bowls, winning three, and becoming the owner of one of the most clutch foots in the history of the NFL. His 45-yard field goal against the Raiders during a blizzard in the 2001 playoffs helped send the game into overtime where he would win it with a 23-yarder. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he lifted the Patriots over the Rams with a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the game, and two years later, he nailed a 41-yarder with four seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to give the Patriots a Super Bowl win over the Panthers. The league leader in scoring in 2004 with 141 points, Vinatieri finished his Patriots career as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,158 points.