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Bill Russell, Who Changed Professional Basketball, Dies At 88



Bill Russell

Red Auerbach, his coach, said that he was a Hall of Famer and led the Celtics to 11 titles Bill Russell was dominating the Boston Celtics games even before the first tipoff. He walked slowly on the court, slightly stooped, as other players ran to him for their introductions.

Bill Russell recalled, “I would look at everyone disdainfully like a sleepy dragon who cannot be bothered to chase off another would-be hero.” “I wanted my face to say, “Hey, the King’s Here Tonight,”

Russell’s incredible rebounding led to a Celtic fast-break that overwhelmed the rest. His quickness and uncanny ability of blocking shots changed the face and character of the center position.

Russell was the Celtics’ 11th National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) champion. Russell, who led the Celtics to 11 N.B.A. championships, including the two final ones when he became America’s first Black head coach, passed away on Sunday. He was 88.

His family announced his death, but did not specify where he had died.

Bill Russell

Red Auerbach, the man who organized Russell’s arrival as a Celtic player and coached him on nine championship teams in 1975, called him the “single most destructive force in the history of basketball.”

Russell wasn’t the only one to share this view. In 1980, a poll of basketball writers revealed that Russell was voted the best player in the N.B.A. history.

Bill Bradley, an ex-Senator who played with Russell in the 1960s for the Knicks, described Russell as the “smartest player ever to play the sport and the epitome team leader”.

Bradley wrote that Russell knew deep down that he was unique from all other players. He also understood that dominating the game was his only identity.

Russell retired in 1969. In a time when flashy moves were a delight to fans, team play was almost always an afterthought. His stature was even more tarnished by his ability to improve the skills of his teammates while he was dominant the action. He also refused to show bravado and gesture to celebrate his accomplishments.

Russell returned to the court in springtime with his trademark goatee turning white. He was the N.B.A.’s most valuable player. In 2009, he was named the trophy for his championship series.

Russell is also remembered for his visible advocacy on civil rights issues.

He was present at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and sat in the front row to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. After the murder of Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist, he went to Mississippi and joined Charles Evers to create an integrated basketball camp.

He was one of a number of notable Black athletes who supported Muhammad Ali during the Vietnam War when Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces.

In 2011, President Barack Obama presented Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award is the highest civilian award in the country and was given by the White House to honor Russell’s “standing up for the dignity of all men”

After President Donald J. Trump called for N.F.L. in September 2017, Russell posted a picture on Twitter showing him posing with the medal while he held the national anthem. He asked for owners to fire players who took a knee during it.

He stated to ESPN, “What I wanted was for those guys to know that I support them.”

Bill Russell

A well-decorated man

Russell was the ultimate winner. He was the leader of University of San Francisco’s N.C.A.A. campaign. He won the tournament championships in 1956 and 1955. In 1956, he won a gold medal as part of the United States Olympic Basketball team. He was the leader of the Celtics to their eight consecutive N.B.A. titles.

He won eight consecutive N.B.A. titles between 1959 and 1966, surpassing both the Yankees’ five consecutive World Series wins (1949-1953) and the Montreal Canadiens five consecutive Stanley Cup championships (1956-1960).

He was named the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player five times, and an All-Star twelve times.

Russell, who was 6’10” tall and 220 lbs, was a towering figure.Bill Russell could anticipate opponent shots and position himself for a rebound. His incredible leaping ability almost ensured that he would grab the ball if it landed on the hoop. He was the No. He was the No. 2 rebounder in N.B.A. History, behind Wilt Chamberlain who was three inches ahead of him.

Russell accumulated 21,620 rebounds at an astounding average of 22.5 per match. His single-game record was 51 against the Syracuse Nationals in 1960, the forerunners to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Although he didn’t have a great shooting touch, he did score 14,522 points, many of them on short, left-handed hook shots that were high-percentage and low-percentage. This average was 15.1 per game.

 The total of his blocked shots — which is not recorded because such records weren’t kept in his time — was altered games.

Russell can appear distant from the court. Russell was traumatized by the humiliations he and his family suffered in Louisiana when he was a child, as well as by racism in Boston. He was the only Black player in the Celtics’ 1956 team. His home in Reading, Mass. was vandalized in the 1960s.

Russell was loyal to his teammates and not to Boston or the fans. He was careful about his privacy and avoided any displays of affection. His No. 6 was retired by the Celtics in March 1972.

He insisted that the ceremony be held in Boston Garden, when the Celtics retired his No. 6 in March 1972. He refused to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is located in Springfield, Mass., right in Celtics country. — and declined to attend the induction.

Russell stated that “In each instance, my intention was not to be bound by the star’s ideas about fans, or fans’ ideas about stars,” in “Second Wind” (1979), written with Taylor Branch. “I have little faith in cheers and what they mean, how long they will last,” Russell said.

Racial Scars and a Mother Who Has Been Lost

William Felton Russell was a child born in Monroe, La. on February 12, 1934. His father, Charles Russell, worked as a paper bag manufacturer. He recalled a happy childhood, but was raped in his youth.

He remembered that his mother Katie was wearing fashionable clothes similar to those worn by white women and was threatened by a police officer for arresting her.

Bill was at the gas station and a gas station attendant tried to humiliate his father by refusing service. This episode ended with Charles Russell running after the man and brandishing a tire iron.

Bill was nine years old when his family moved to Oakland, Calif. He was raised by Charles Jr. and Bill. Russell fondly remembers that they learned to work hard, be self-sufficient, and to value their self-worth.

Russell was a McClymonds High School senior and started on the basketball team. He already emphasized rebounding and defense. Former basketball player at the University of San Francisco, Hal DeJulio who was a scout for his alma mater recognized Russell’s potential, and recommended him to Phil Woolpert, the coach.

Bill Russell received a scholarship, and he was an All-American. He teamed up with K.C. Jones, a future Celtic teammate in leading San Francisco to the N.C.A.A. In his two previous seasons, Jones won the championships.

After a loss to U.C.L.A. In Russell’s junior season, the team won 55 consecutive games. His three varsity seasons saw him average more than 20 points per game and 20 rebounds.

Russell said that no one had ever played basketball as I did, or as well, when he recalled his college days in 1963 to Sport magazine. They had never seen someone block shots before. “Now I’m conceited. I like to think that I invented a new style of play.”

The Celtics were a talented team that featured Bob Cousy (the league’s best small man) and Bill Sharman (a sharpshooter) at guard. Ed Macauley was up front and a great shooter. They had never been able to win a championship without a strong center.

The No. 1 selection was owned by the Rochester Royals. The No. 1 selection in 1956 N.B.A. They were not willing to enter into a bidding war with Russell and the Bill Russell Harlem Globetrotters for a lucrative deal, Bill Russell as they already had Maurice Stokes as a big man. Sihugo, a Duquesne guard, was drafted by the Royals.

The No. 2 draft pick was held by the St. Louis Hawks. They had the No. 2 draft pick but couldn’t afford Russell. Auerbach convinced them to trade Macauley, a St. Louisan native, for Cliff Hagan, who was a promising rookie. This allowed Boston to acquire Russell.

Russell met with the Globetrotters in spring 1958, but he didn’t seriously consider signing with them, as he said in a January 1958 collaboration for The Saturday Evening Post with Al Hirshberg.

He was not interested in the idea of a yearlong trip around the globe and stated that “their specialty” was clowning, and that he didn’t intend to be billed as a comedian wearing a basketball uniform.

Russell was the US Olympic team’s gold medalist in 1956 Melbourne Games. He then joined the Celtics in Dec. He averaged 19.6 rebound per game in his rookie season, which included 48 games.

The franchise’s first N.B.A. was won by the Celtic team, Bill Russell which included Russell, Cousy and Sharman, as well as Cousy, Sharman and Tom Heinsohn, as well the young, high-scoring rookie Tom Heinsohn and Frank Ramsey. The Hawks were defeated in the finals to win the title.

Enter Chamberlain

Russell won his first M.V.P. In Russell’s second season, he won his first M.V.P. award. However, this time, the Hawks defeated the Celtics to win the championship.

This was after Russell broke his ankle in Game 3. The title was won again by the Celtics the next year, beginning their eight-year streak of championships.

Russell’s fourth season (1959-60), Chamberlain, 7-foot-1 and 275-pounds, entered the N.B.A. With the Philadelphia Warriors. Chamberlain was the league’s rookie scoring leader with 37.6 points per match. Russell was second in rebounding, at 27.6 per game. However, the Celtics won the championship once again.

Chamberlain was strong and powerful, Russell agile. In their matchups, Russell was often outscored and out-rebounded in the end by Chamberlain. However, the Celtics won most of those matches.

Chamberlain said, “If I had played with the Celtics instead Russell, I doubt that they would have been quite as great.” Chamberlain was quoted saying this in 1996, when the 50 greatest players in the N.B.A. were chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the league. However, it wasn’t ranked in any particular order.

Chamberlain stated that Bill Russell and the Celtics were “the perfect match.”

Russell was friendly with Chamberlain on the court and was kind to him. He said, “I know they talk of me winning more championships. But I don’t know what that can be held against Wilt. Bill Russell “ “We beat everyone. It wasn’t just Wilt.

Rivalry between Russell and Chamberlain was intense. Cousy recalls that Russell intimidated him in “Cousy on The Celtic Mystique”, (1988), co-written with Bob Ryan. “Wilt can speak what he likes, but I used watch Wilt push in against everyone, but not Russell,”

Russell played close to Chamberlain to force him to change his angle for his fadeaway jump shots, and to release them further from the basket than he wanted.

Russell beat Chamberlain in a different way. His annual salary was $100,000.001, which was $1 more than Chamberlain’s.

Russell was a fierce competitor. He claimed that he wasn’t nervous in the minutes before games but engaged in a routine in the locker room, which was often commented upon.

He told The Boston Globe that he threw up but was not sick. It was a way for me to eliminate all excesses.”

According to John Havlicek (Celtics’ forward), it was “a tremendous sound almost as loud and powerful as his laugh.”

Havlicek stated to Sports Illustrated that he doesn’t do it often now, except when it is an important game or a challenge for him — someone such as Chamberlain or someone who everyone’s praising.” In December 1968, Havlicek said,

“He doesn’t do it much anymore, except when it’s an important team or a challenging game for him,” It’s a welcome sound because it signals that he’s ready for the game. We all smile and say, “Man, we’re going be all right tonight!”

Auerbach recalls that Russell made shot-blocking art in “Red Auerbach, An Autobiography”, (1977), co-written with Joe Fitzgerald. He would either throw the ball up, grab it as a rebound or redirect it into the hands of one his teammates and then we’d be on our way to the fast break. Russell never batted a ball into the third balcony like the other guys.

Bill Russell Although Russell was not the first Black coach in professional sports, he made the most impact when he was the first person to be selected in 1966 to head a team in any of America’s major leagues.

Fritz Pollard, a running back star, had previously coached in the National Football League in the 1920s when it was still a young organization.

John McLendon was the coach of the Cleveland Pipers in the American Basketball League from 1961 to 1962. However, the A.B.L. The A.B.L. was only a secondary attraction.

Russell was the first year of his coaching tenure and the Celtics lost their streak of eight consecutive titles. However, it took one N.B.A. great team to accomplish it. Bill Russell The 1966-67 Celtics posted a record of 60-21 in their regular season, but lost in the Eastern Conference playoff finals against the Philadelphia 76ers.

They had been 68-13 before that with a lineup that included Chamberlain and Luke Jackson, Chet Walker and Hal Greer.

Boston: A New View

Auerbach was able to find excellent replacements for the Celtic players who had retired in Russell’s rookie season. Russell’s college teammate.

The Celtics won the N.B.A. Russell was their player-coach for the last two seasons. His career was completed with victory in the 1969 N.B.A. Finals victory over a Laker team, which had also obtained Chamberlain and featured Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.

Russell couldn’t shake the memories of Boston from his childhood, when de facto segregated schools were a national scandal.

Russell wrote that Boston was “a flea market for racism” in “Second Wind.” He said, “To me, Boston was itself a flea marketplace of racism.” The city had corrupt, city-hall-crony racists, brick-throwing, send-’em-back-to-Africa racists, and in the university areas phony radical-chic racists (long before they appeared in New York).”

However, as the years passed, his perception of the city changed.

Russell was a part of a radio commercial that promoted Boston in the weeks before the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He stated that he believes there are many things happening to make Boston an open city. “I believe there are a lot more things that are happening so that everybody is included and nobody’s considered unworthy.”

In 2013, Boston honored Russell with a bronze statue at City Hall Plaza.

Cousy was deeply sorry for his inability to speak up against racism Russell experienced as a teammate, and he wrote him a letter in February 2016.

Gary M. Pomerantz’s book “The Last Pass” (2018) relates that Cousy didn’t hear from Russell for two and a quarter years. Russell called him.

Cousy wanted to know if Russell had received the letter.

Pomerantz wrote, “Russ stated he had.” It was overheard that nothing more was said. Cooz hoped that their conversation would reach a deeper level. He had not yet made Russ his last pass. He felt at peace.”

Russell was an ABC Sports commentator at the N.B.A. His high-pitched, cackling laugh on air showed a side to Russell that only his colleagues had seen. He then returned to coaching.

In 1973, he was appointed coach and general manager for the Seattle SuperSonics. He took over a team that hadn’t been to the playoffs in six seasons and guided them to two playoff berths in four of his seasons.

In 1987, he became the Sacramento Kings’ coach. However, he was fired in March 1988 as the team was at 17-41. He was then named vice president in charge basketball operations. In December 1989, he was fired.

Russell continued his N.B.A. career long after he retired. Russell continued his career, but he became more accessible and seized commercial opportunities.

He agreed to a public ceremony at Fleet Center, the successor to Boston Garden, for the 30th anniversary his last championship team. It also marked his retirement as a player and the second retirement of his numbers. He also raised funds for the National Mentoring Partnership’s programs, which he helped to develop as a board member.

He stated to the crowd, “There are no other people’s children in this country.” They are the children of this nation and I will not be at war with them. I will do everything I can to make a child’s life easier.

He was a part of commercials and signed autographs for serious collectors.

In 2016, Russell married Jeannine Fiorito for the fourth and final time. He divorced Rose Swisher from his first marriage and he married Jeannine Fiorito to complete his fourth marriage. Marilyn Nault, his third wife, was killed in an accident on September 29, 2009.

Russell was blessed with three children by his first marriage: William Jr., Jacob, and Karen Kenyatta Russell. William Jr., also known as Buddha, passed away in 2016 at the age of 58. Russell’s brother Charlie L. Russell was a screenwriter and playwright who died in 2013 aged 81. We do not have complete information about survivors.

Russell was firm in his convictions. He stated that there were two societies in the country and that he had to acknowledge them. This was in reference to the racial division. I don’t want to be accepted. I am who I am. It’s fine if you like it. If it’s not for you, that’s fine.


Golden State Warriors snap 11-game road losing streak with 121-108 victory



Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 121-108 victory over the Houston Rockets late on Monday. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 59 points to shine for the Warriors.

The Warriors won on the road for the first time since a January 30 victory at Oklahoma City.

Curry finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Thompson added 29 points and seven rebounds. They combined to shoot 21-for-44 overall and 10-for-28 from 3-point range to pace the Warriors (37-36). Jonathan Kuminga chipped in 17 off the bench for the Warriors.

Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

Following a back-and-forth third quarter that featured five ties and eight lead changes, the Warriors seized control with an 18-6 rally early in the fourth. Golden State made its first four 3-point attempts in the period and Kuminga added a pair of breakaway dunks that fueled a run to a 108-93 lead.

Kuminga helped stabilise the Warriors late in the third after Houston (18-54) grabbed a 78-77 lead on an Usman Garuba corner trey with 2:26 left in the period. Kuminga immediately followed with a 3-pointer and added a 17-footer as Golden State carried an 84-80 lead into the fourth.

The Warriors were victorious despite committing 20 turnovers that Houston parlayed into 25 points. Golden State countered those miscues with 26 points off 18 Houston turnovers.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Rockets. Rookie Tari Eason posted his seventh double-double with 21 points and 12 boards while fellow rookie Jabari Smith Jr. also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Green scored 20 points for Houston, which was without starting centre Alperen Sengun (illness).

The Warriors ran an offensive clinic in the first quarter, scoring 11 points in transition and logging nine assists on their 11 field goals. They used a 15-3 run to secure a nine-point lead, though Houston cut it to 26-21 by the close of the first.

The second quarter was awash with turnovers. Curry tallied 15 points in the period and was instrumental in keeping the Warriors ahead despite their 10 giveaways that Houston converted into 10 points. The Rockets weren’t much better, with their seven turnovers yielding 10 points.

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Edmonton Oilers Survive With Three Goals Disallowed and Win in Overtime



Edmonton Oilers Survive

On Monday night, the Avalanche ran the Oilers off Rogers Place with seven goals against Jack Campbell and an Edmonton team so far from their ‘A’ game they almost ran out of letters.

Thankfully for the Oilers, their video coaches came to their rescue with three goals off the board after challenges — two on narrow offsides and one for questionable goaltender interference — which allowed Edmonton to pull off an amazing 5-4 victory in overtime.

“Our group needed more time,” defenceman Darnell Nurse, who scored with 14.3 seconds left in extra period. “But we remained resilient. There are nights you don’t feel it but you still have to find a way to win and that was our plan tonight.”

Edmonton Oilers Survive

Edmonton Oilers Survive

Without video coaches Jeremy Coupal and Noah Segall, the Oilers would still be reeling and wondering what went wrong against a team with only two wins in 16 games. Their efforts saved the squad from embarrassment and set up two pivotal points for future success.

“Those were some big calls,” Edmonton Oilers centre Nick Bjugstad remarked. “Our video guys and coaching staff were right on it; there was no hesitation. That’s an important part of the game and we rely on those guys to assist us – which they did tonight. It definitely changed the game.”

No doubt about it: Edmonton conceded seven goals for the third time in eight games with just an inch or two to spare. That needs to be addressed, but for now they will take comfort in banking these two points.

“We don’t ignore what led up to those (disallowed goals against),” said head coach Jay Woodcroft. “Even if it’s just an eyelash here or there, those are shots you don’t want in your net.”

“There are things we can improve in our game, but I was proud of our will to win and our ability to find a win when an opposition goaltender was having an excellent night,” McGrath said.

“We didn’t play the game we wanted to in the first two periods, but we knew what the stakes were and our players found a way to earn those two points. Nobody is blind to the fact that there are still issues we need to address,” Leboeuf concluded. “While some aspects need improving, everyone agrees on one thing: there are things that need to be fixed.”

At the other end of the ice, Campbell made his first start since March 4 and spent most of the evening trying to stay on track. He allowed four goals in the opening 40 minutes, was saved by the goal post on another and had three goals against reviewed; however, he finally found some consistency down the stretch and secured victory.

“Jack was just like our team,” Woodcroft said. “He found a way to win on an off-kilter night – that was all that mattered for him and his self confidence. Getting two points for the team is all that mattered to him.”

His night was a 60-minute adventure, but he received no assistance whatsoever from his teammates who were consistently one step behind until the third period when they came alive.

“Last week we had three good opponents in playoff race battles, so this might have been an opportunity to breathe a bit,” defenceman Mattias Ekholm, who scored twice including the game-tying goal with 3:47 left in regulation, said. “I don’t know what you want to call it; we could’ve been better but these games are hard. You need to build yourself up and get going – and we did just that.” “It could’ve been much better but these games are tough; we snuck it out but tough things happen sometimes and move on,”

Edmonton’s problems began early when Campbell let in his second shot of the game at 1:12. Fortunately, it didn’t count due to an offside call, and four minutes later Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose with a goal.

Nick Bjugstad tied it in the first and Kailer Yamamoto made it 2-1 early in the second. But San Jose scored four times (only three of which counted), while Edmonton responded with Ekholm’s first goal of the night.

Noah Gregor scored on a two-on-one early in the third to make it 5-3 Sharks, but an offside challenge revealed he was inches offside.

“Video coaches deserve more credit than they get,” Ekholm lamented. “They put in long hours and are relentless – but what’s their margin for error? Offside can sometimes be by inches – yet you expect them to always be right. That said, video coaching won us the game tonight.”

LATE HITS — Yamamoto’s 10th goal of the season gives Edmonton an incredible 11 players with double-digit goal scoring this season. Erik Karlsson had two goals for the Sharks in 27:57 of ice time while Evander Kane went minus three for Edmonton.

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World Baseball Classic 2023: Live Stream and Schedule for Quarterfinals and Finals



World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic 2023 is underway and can be streamed live with a TV service. The World Baseball Classic will conclude on March 21.

What Happens During the World Baseball Classic?

World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic

Baseball boasts some of the world’s finest players, representing their countries in the tournament and ultimately determined by how well-played each game. Major League Baseball offers much of this talent but doesn’t guarantee victory to always go to USA; players have the option to represent their home nation even if they reside here in America. Let us look into some past winners to gain a better insight into this statement.

Japan captured the title of World Baseball Classic two times between 2006 and 2009. In 2013, Dominican Republic claimed it, but in 2017, United States finally emerged victorious over Puerto Rico to claim top place in the race.

World Baseball Classic 2023 Schedule

March 17-18: Quarterfinals

On March 19-20 and March 21,the championship game will take place.

The Sky is the Limit: Richest Team Owners In Major League Baseball

Steve Cohen

Baseball has never seen so much money invested in it as now. America’s wealthiest businessmen have all viewed the sport with a kind eye and an even kinder wallet.

Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager with an estimated net worth of over $13 billion, failed in his attempts to purchase the New York Mets. Had he succeeded, Cohen would have become the richest team owner in Major League Baseball (MLB), which has long drawn America’s wealthiest.

Here are the five wealthiest team owners in Major League Baseball today:

MLB lockout: Take a look at baseball's billionaire team owners - Los Angeles Times(Image Credit: AFP)

Where Can You Watch World Baseball Classic?

Cable subscribers to the game will have access to Fox, FS1, FS2, and Fox Deporters; you must have cable if you wish to watch on Fox Sports website and app. Those without cords can watch through livestreaming services like Hulu (with Live TV), YouTube TV (or similar services such as DirecTV Stream, fuboTV or Sling TV), while those without access will find services that carry those channels helpful too.

Three non-USA games can be watched on Tubi, and for those who prefer listening only, Sirius XM and TuneIn provide great options.


When does the World Baseball Classic start this year?

On March 8

When is the final match of World Baseball Classic 2023?

Disclaimer Statement: This content has been created by a 3rd party and does not reflect the opinions of Economic Times (ET). ET does not guarantee, endorse or support any of its contents in any way whatsoever, so it’s your responsibility to verify all details provided are correct, up-to-date and verified. ET expressly disclaims any and all warranties (express or implied) related to this report and its contents.

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