Bill Russell is the greatest champion in the history of North American team sports.
The 11-time NBA champion made his debut for the Boston Celtics 60 years ago today (Dec. 22, 1956).
It didn’t take long for Russell to win his first championship ring. The Celtics won their first title in his rookie season.
After losing in the 1958 NBA Finals, Russell helped lead the C’s on a remarkable run of eight straight titles from 1959 through 1966. He won two more in his last two seasons as a pro in 1968 and 1969. Russell won those two championships as a player and the team’s head coach.
Fittingly, the NBA Finals MVP award now is named after Russell.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Feb 14, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; NBA former players from left Yao Ming , Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell are honored during a timeout in the first half of the NBA All Star Game at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports