Bill Russell squares off against Manny Ramirez in the second round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Bill RussellBill 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.
8. Manny RamirezWhen the Red Sox signed Manny Ramirez prior to the 2001 season, it was the first move in a series of franchise changes that would eventually bring the Red Sox their first World Series championship in 86 years and a second one only three years later. Ramirez’s time in Boston was filled with roller-coaster emotions for the star slugger as well as the fans, but no one can deny the Hall of Fame numbers he posted while Fenway Park was his home. In eight-plus seasons with the Red Sox, Manny hit .312 with 274 home runs and 868 RBIs. He was named an All-Star every season he spent in Boston and picked up six Silver Slugger awards. But Manny’s time in Boston will always be defined by his postseason heroics and carefree persona. Just Manny being Manny.