In 1956, Red Auerbach had built a brilliant team that lacked one thing: a center who could rebound and start the fast break.
In Bill Russell, he saw the perfect part to complete his creation. Russell would have monstrous rebounding games in the NBA and he was a superb outlet passer, often able to start a fast break before he hit the ground. As a bonus, he was inventing shot blocking as another way to start breaks. As another big bonus, the guy’s an unquestionable winner.
Auerbach traded one of his best players, Easy Ed McCauley, to the St. Louis Hawks for the rights to Russell.
In that year’s Finals, Russell and the Celtics showed that they were ready to revolutionize the league and the game.
The video here is old and hard to see at times but nonetheless worth watching to witness the brilliance of the Auerbach-Russell collaboration in its first full flower.
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