Bill Russell's passing away stunned the NBA world a couple of days ago. Fans, players, and coaches have all been mourning the passing of the legendary Boston Celtics player, who was one of the most respected figures in the NBA. Russell won more NBA Championships than 28 other teams in the league, proving his greatness even further.
The standard of winning in the NBA has been set by Russell and what he accomplished is something that every NBA team and player tries to emulate, with everyone doing it unsuccessfully. Not only did Russell break barriers on the basketball court, but he was also an incredibly influential figure in the Civil Right movement and often fought racism in Boston even though he was winning championships for the city.
Tributes for Russell have poured in from figures like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and organizations like the Los Angeles Lakers. The most iconic coach of the modern era, Gregg Popovich, has also shared a tribute for Russell through the San Antonio Spurs Twitter account.
Popovich came close to building a modern NBA dynasty but could never win consecutive championships, let alone 8 consecutive like how Russell had. No team has ever come close to that, as we haven't seen a team win more than 3 consecutive championships since the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002.
Popovich's Spurs made 22 consecutive playoff appearances and won 5 championships in that time, proving that Pop knew how to always stay in the mix for a title even if the decision didn't end up going his way. Russell's coaching record doesn't have a resume like Pop's, but nobody in the league has come close to building a resume like Russell's.
Regardless, what Pop said was an incredibly poignant message about Russell's legacy as a basketball player and a human being.