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The Greatest Competitor In Sports History

Bill Russell, for our money, was the greatest player of all time: from his junior year, the guy won every title he was eligible for except for two, and he was out of the playoffs with an injury his second season.

We flipped through Si's The Vault and found these articles from when he first burst on the scene to his retirement announcement in Si. It's not representative, but it gives a broad sketch of his rise and brilliant career, as well as the way he was perceived by the media: at first he was a blip, then a presence, then an irritant, and finally, deeply respected. Present after a couple of years is the remarkable Wilt Chamberlain, whose gifts helped define Russell's own.