Bill Russell squares off against Bobby Orr in the final 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.
1. Bobby Orr Not many 12-year-olds attract professional hockey scouts, and not many 14-year-olds sign professional hockey contracts. But Bobby Orr wasn’t like most human beings. From a young age until the day he hung ‘em up, Orr was always a step ahead of the pack. Despite playing just nine full NHL seasons, Robert Gordon Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The subject of one of the sports world’s most recognizable photos, Orr popped the game-winning goal to seal the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals against the St. Louis Blues. It was the B’s first Cup in 29 years, and Orr took home a plethora of hardware, winning the Norris (best defenseman), Ross (top point scorer), Hart (regular-season MVP) and Conn Smythe (MVP Stanley Cup playoffs) Trophies that season. He went on to secure another Cup for Boston two seasons later and end his career with eight Norris Trophies, two Hart Trophies, two Ross Trophies and 915 points in 657 games played. The 1970-71 campaign turned out to be Orr’s most productive season as he scored 37 goals, had 102 assists and finished the year with a plus-124 rating — an NHL record that still stands to this day.