As far as NBA legends go, there are few if any more overlooked than Bill Russell.

The legendary, Hall-of-Fame former Boston Celtics center has a staggering 11 championship rings to his credit, and despite his lack of fanfare, has been influential in the careers of many recent NBA superstars, including Kobe Bryant, who once called him a “great mentor” for him.

Bryant said one of the best pieces of advice that Russell ever gave him was to defer to his teammates and focus on what he does best.

In the case of the gentle former Celtics giant, rebounding and defense were the name of the game.

Russell averaged a mind-numbing 22.5 rebounds and 15.1 points during his 13-year NBA career, while relying on fellow star teammates like Bob Cousy and Sam Jones to carry him to his treasure trove of NBA championship rings.

In the same vein as Tom Brady getting the ball to his playmakers in space and Michael Jordan deferring to his teammates in the early going of games before taking over in the fourth quarter (as detailed in the classic and fascinating book ‘The Jordan Rules’ by Sam Smith), Russsell’s plan worked.

Russell sacrificed his own personal glory for the betterment of the team while still putting up the video game like stat lines mentioned above.

Now, Russell is back in the spotlight again, and this time, it’s personal.

Legendary Center Bill Russell: Don’t Forget About Me in GOAT Talks

While the world remains focused on the accomplishments of Tom Brady after his seventh Super Bowl win and whether he’s surpassed MJ as the all-time major sports GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), the still mentally sharp Russell had a message for the world on his 87th birthday that is unmistakable: don’t forget about me.

Russell’s jab was directed at A1Hoopz, a podcaster and writer based in Florida who excluded Russell in his post on Brady and Jordan over their supposedly undisputed GOAT status.

Later in another video posted to his Twitter account, Bill is asked what it feels like being 87 before showing that he still has plenty of gas in the tank and blowing out 87 candles.

“How do you feel about being 87?” Russell is asked.

“I’ll kick its ass,” the legendary center responds.


Bill Russell Deserves His Place at the GOAT’s Table

While 50’s and 60’s era basketball was completely different altogether compared to today’s game, it’s hard to deny Bill’s request to be included in the GOAT discussion if championships are the measuring stick.

Russell won 11 titles in 13 seasons, a feat that will likely never be duplicated.

He also won five MVP awards during his 13 seasons, an even better ratio than Jordan’s five in 15 seasons and tied for second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Russell also won two NCAA national titles with the San Francisco Dons and an Olympic gold medal in 1956.

Needless to say, the man himself has spoken: it’s time to give Russell his due as one of the all-time greats.

The f犀利士
act that he’s 87 years old and still making waves in today’s social media obsessed world is just further confirmation of his greatness, and a reminder that Russell and his legacy are not going anywhere anytime soon.