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YouTube Gold: Bill Russell On Awards And More

Russell is elderly now but his wisdom has always been there

76ers v Celtics Russell
BOSTON, MA - 1964: Bill Russell #6 of the Boston Celtics goes for a block against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1964 NBA Game at Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Bill Russell is always an interesting guy to listen to. He came to the NBA when it was just 11 years old and when he retired, he had helped the Celtics to win half of the league championships at that point.

In this video, he talks about a lot of things - his friendships with Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, how he used to visit with the Chamberlain family and how Wilt’s mother would let him sleep in his oversized bed after dinner.

He also talks about why you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on awards and how he was the NBA MVP at one point despite being only on the second team (at that point the writers voted on All-League honors while the players selected the MVP).

Then he closes, this most unusually competitive man, by saying that his friendship with Red Auerbach was more important than any of the championships.

Russell is now 87. He’s an extraordinary man who won’t be with us too much longer. Everyone who appreciates basketball and would like to understand America should pay attention to him. He is famous for basketball but he has much to say beyond that.