It's been quite a few months for Celtics great Bill Russell. He was honored by President Barack Obama as the recipient of the Medal of Freedom on a day in which the most powerful man in the world should be honored forever with a statue in Boston.
Not long after, it was announced that Russell would indeed be given a statue in Boston. It's the latest on a long list of achievements and honors for arguably the best center in NBA history. Russell's achievements both on and off the court have made him one of the most important figures in the NBA's storied history.
Russell continues to be honored not only as one of the best basketball players to live, but also for his charitable efforts and his continued mentoring of young people.
He, of course, is not alone.
Russell's great battles during the league's early years with Wilt Chamberlain made the two a couple of the most iconic figures in the history of the game. Chamberlain, of course, is not only remembered for his battles with Russell, but also for scoring 100 points in a single game, an achievement that will likely never be challenged.
Those two giants of power eventually gave way to a new crop of NBA legends. After changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the center formerly known as Lew Alcindor had a storied NBA career. His famous sky hook is still mimicked in backyards across the world today, and the former UCLA big man helped bridge the gap between the Russell-Chamberlain days to the league's recent history.
Today's NBA was shaped by an era in the 80s and 90s that were dominated by a trio of superstars that transcended the game both on and off the court. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan took turns sitting atop the league in both stats and championship rings. The Bird-Johnson rivalry is perhaps the greatest individual rivalry in any professional sport and the two captivated basketball fans quite literally from coast-to-coast in the 80s. Of course, Jordan's resume, both as arguably the best player of all time and one of the most marketable athletes ever, speaks for itself as well.
All have left their mark on the game of basketball forever, but which NBA legend has had the biggest impact on the game?
Powered by WordPress.com VIP