Bill Russell has one of the most enviable resumes in the history of the NBA. A record 11-time champion in 13 years, The recently deceased legend played in an era of basketball was defined by him being utterly and completely dominant. Not only was he an almost mythical presence, but his Boston Celtics also were not getting outsmarted by anyone.
That era was headlined by the likes of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, but another star of that time was Walt Bellamy. Bellamy was the 1st overall pick in the 1961 Draft and was drafted by the Chicago Packers, the team now known as the Washington Wizards. He would go on to play for the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, and the New Orleans Jazz.
Bellamy never won a championship, so he does not get the credit for his great game. He was a 4-time All-Star during his time and retired after 14 years in the league, and maintained a 20-point career average. Russell once revealed his true thoughts on Bellamy and how his strategy of guarding him was to make sure he never got the ball.
"The game is played by very insecure people. There was a great player called Walt Bellamy, most people don't realize how good he was. Physically I was not up to him, some night. I used to say, 'what am I going to do?' So, I would play very hard defense to keep him from getting the ball..and then I'd say, 'how come they don't pass you the ball?' I've been working like a dog for the last 5 minutes and he'd say, 'Yeah, they don't treat old Walter right.'"
Bellamy never got to see the heights that Russell did as a player, but he had a more than successful NBA career. He was traded from the Knicks to the Pistons in the 1968-69 season, and that led to him playing 88 games that season, something that is still the NBA record for most games played in a season.
Bellamy and Russell met each other plenty of times in the Eastern Conference, but it never looked like Walt would have had a shot at beating the Celtics. Sadly, Bellamy would pass away in 2013.