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Bill Russell’s Stats For Each Season: 11 Championships In 13 Seasons Is An Incredible Achievement That No One Else Will Ever Have

Bill Russell’s Stats For Each Season: 11 Championships In 13 Seasons Is An Incredible Achievement That No One Else Will Ever Have

There have been a ton of great players throughout NBA history, but only a select few stand out from the rest. In fact, very few players have ever had the chance to be included on the Mount Rushmore of all-time greats. One of those players is none other than Bill Russell, the greatest winner in basketball history. The legendary Celtics center passed away on Sunday, leaving behind a legacy that is incomparable. With 11 championship rings to his name and a history of changing the NBA on and off the court, Russell will truly be missed.

Russell remains the player with the most NBA championships over his career, and no one comes close other than his former teammate Sam Jones who has 10 titles. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bill Russell’s Celtics teams were constantly making the NBA Finals and taking care of business against the vast majority of the league. The main reason the Celtics were able to sustain a long run of success was because of the superstar center.

Bill was one of the greatest leaders in NBA history. He could score around the rim, rebound at an all-time great rate, pass out of the post, and defend at arguably the greatest level we have ever seen. In terms of accomplishments alone, most fans and pundits believe that he is the greatest center to ever play in the NBA. He was also one of the first players to dominate the NBA through defense and leadership. In the end, he remains one of the all-time greats. His stats back up that statement as well.

Here is Bill Russell’s stats and achievements season by season, revisiting the career of one of the all-time great players.


1956-57 NBA Season

Stats: 14.7 PPG, 19.6 RPG, 1.8 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion

Russell was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1956 NBA Draft. Coming out of San Francisco College behind Si Green, it was obvious Russell was going to be the man. The Celtics went 44-28 with head coach Red Auerbach and it was the initial stages of the Celtics transforming into a title contender yearly.

Boston ended up winning the NBA Finals in Russell’s rookie season, as the big man led the NBA in rebounds with 19.6 RPG. The big man played 48 games in the regular season and missed out on the All-Star Team for the only time in his career.


1957-58 NBA Season

Stats: 16.6 PPG, 22.7 RPG, 2.9 APG

Awards And Achievements: MVP, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team, Rebounds Leader

The Celtics benefitted greatly from Russell’s impact alongside assists leader Bob Cousy. The duo became a dangerous partnership that helped the Celtics stay competitive in the NBA as they once again made it to the NBA Finals although they lost in 6 games to the St. Louis Hawks.

Bill became one of the best players in the world by his second season, winning his first MVP award and leading the league in rebounds yet again. The center also made his first All-Star Team and the winning would continue shortly following the 1958 NBA season.


1958-59 NBA Season

Stats: 16.7 PPG, 23.0 RPG, 3.2 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, Rebounds Leader

The Boston Celtics ended up winning the NBA championship again in 1959, this time with Bill Russell making his first All-NBA First Team selection and also capturing his second-straight rebounding title. As expected, the Celtics benefitted from their elite roster led by the center.

Boston went 8-3 in the playoffs, sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers in the Finals in 4 games. Russell had an excellent series against Elgin Baylor and the Lakers, posting an almost inhuman 29.5 RPG to go along with his 9.3 PPG and 5.3 APG.


1959-60 NBA Season

Stats: 18.2 PPG, 24.0 RPG, 3.7 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

Bill Russell once again made the All-Star Team and an All-NBA Team, and the rivalry between him and Wilt Chamberlain for the title of being the most dominant center in the world ensued in 1960. As expected, Russell got the last laugh as an NBA champion.

The Celtics superstar went head-to-head with Wilt in the playoffs, eventually defeating his opponent in 6 games. Russell put up 20.7 PPG and 27.0 RPG against Chamberlain who posted 30.5 PPG and 27.5 RPG of his own. In the end, the Celtics got past the Warriors and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in the NBA Finals.


1960-61 NBA Season

Stats: 16.9 PPG, 23.9 RPG, 3.4 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

Bill Russell was absolutely the most dominant player in the 1961 regular season, posting yet another monster double-double and capturing the MVP award. Thanks to Russell’s play, the Boston Celtics finished with a 57-22 which ranked 1st in the NBA among the 8 total teams.

The Celtics went 8-2 in the playoffs, eventually defeating the St. Louis Hawks yet again. Russell posted averages of 17.6 PPG, 28.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG against Bob Pettit’s averages of 28.4 PPG and 16.4 RPG. Clearly, Russell knew his impact came on defense and on the boards and dominated yet another Finals series.


1961-62 NBA Season

Stats: 18.9 PPG, 23.6 RPG, 4.5 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

Guess who won the MVP award again during the regular season? It was Bill Russell, and his leadership was on full display during the year. The superstar center had yet another monster showing on both ends of the floor and led the Boston Celtics to a tremendous 60-20 record which ranked 1st in the NBA.

The Celtics went 4-3 over Wilt Chamberlain’s Warriors in the second round, before ending the rival Minneapolis Lakers in 7 games as well. No doubt, Russell’s impact as a leader, defender, rebounder, and passer ultimately made the difference in all of those games. Bill also made his 5th straight All-Star Team.


1962-63 NBA Season

Stats: 16.8 PPG, 23.6 RPG, 4.5 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-Star Game MVP

Bill Russell had an excellent year when looking at his all-around impact and accolades earned. The superstar center led the Celtics to a 58-22 record which was good for the best seed in the league again. During the year, the center won an MVP and also the All-Star Game MVP award.

Russell’s Celtics took care of business against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, with Russell (20.0 PPG, 26.0 RPG, 5.3 APG) doing enough to help Tom Heinsohn and Sam Jones overcome Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. By now, Bill Russel was a 6-time NBA champion.


1963-64 NBA Season

Stats: 15.0 PPG, 24.7 RPG, 4.7 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team, Rebounds Leader

Bill Russell led all players in rebounds during the 1964 season, and the Celtics once again had the best record in the NBA. Boston was stacked with superstar talent, but Russell truly took them over the top with his vocal leadership and dedication to dominating the paint.

Bill’s Celtics went 8-2 in the postseason, eventually ending Wilt Chamberlain and San Francisco Warriors in the Finals. Russell and Chamberlain went head-to-head on the court and on the stat sheet, with the Celtics big man averaging 11.2 PPG and 25.2 RPG against Wilt’s 29.2 PPG and 27.6 RPG.


1964-65 NBA Season

Stats: 14.1 PPG, 24.1 RPG, 5.3 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, Rebounds Leader

Bill Russell had another excellent year, adding another MVP award to his resume along with a rebounds title and an All-NBA First Team appearance. The Celtics, once again, finished with the best record in the NBA at 62-18. Russell was at the core, which is why he earned his MVP trophy.

The Celtics went 8-4 in the playoffs, with another Russell and Chamberlain showdown happening. This time, Wilt was a member of the 76ers and he pushed the Celtics to 7 games only to lose. In the Finals, the Celtics defeated the Lakers in 5 games with Rusell leading all players in RPG and APG.


1965-66 NBA Season

Stats: 12.9 PPG, 22.8 RPG, 4.8 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

Bill Russell once again won an NBA championship, incredibly. Even when competing in a league with less than 10 teams, this type of success is truly extraordinary. The superstar center was at his best again, posting a monster double-double and proving to be one of the best passing bigs of all time.

The center led his team to the NBA Finals, where they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in 7 games. Bill Russell stole the show, posting a team-high 23.6 PPG and 24.3 RPG against the duo of Jerry West (33.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG) and Elgin Baylor (25.0 PPG, 15.0 RPG). This Celtics-Lakers rivalry was at full strength, although Russell kept adding rings to his fingers. By 1966, Russell had a whopping 9 NBA championships. One more and both of his hands would be completely covered.


1966-67 NBA Season

Stats: 13.3 PPG, 21.0 RPG, 5.8 APG

Awards And Achievements: All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

The 1967 season would mark the first time since 1958 that the Boston Celtics did not win the NBA championship. In fact, the Celtics lost to Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia 76ers in 7 games. Chamberlain was tremendous (21.6 PPG, 32.0 RPG, 10.0 APG) and so was Hal Greer (29.2 PPG).

Russel held his own with averages of 11.4 PPG and 23.4 RPG in the series, but it was not enough. Nonetheless, the superstar center ended up making another All-Star Team and All-NBA Team while further solidifying himself as arguably the greatest defensive player we had ever seen at the time.


1967-68 NBA Season

Stats: 12.5 PPG, 18.6 RPG, 4.6 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-NBA Second Team

Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics assumed their position as the dominant force in the league, once again winning a championship. In 1968, the Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Division Finals before heading to an NBA Finals showdown against the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

After Russell and the Celtics handled Wilt Chamberlain, they had to defeat Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and the Lakers in the Finals. They did that, and Russell posted 17.3 PPG and 21.8 RPG to overcome the opponents. With 10 rings and his hands full, Russell would not be done winning just yet.


1968-69 NBA Season

Stats: 9.9 PPG, 19.3 RPG, 4.9 APG

Awards And Achievements: NBA Champion, All-Star, All-Defensive Second Team

At age 34, Bill Russell would go out on a big bang. The superstar center posted 9.9 PPG and 19.3 RPG in the regular season followed by averages of 10.8 PPG and 20.5 RPG in the playoffs. Russell was exceptional throughout the year, earning himself his 12th and final All-Star Team appearance. The Boston Celtics finished with a 48-34 record, which was only 4th in the East.

But Boston handled the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, the New York Knicks in the second round, and eventually the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, to nobody’s surprise. Once again, we witnessed another Bill Russell-Wilt Chamberlain showdown and also another Celtics vs. Lakers matchup. The Celtics ended up winning in 7 games, with Russell leading his team in RPG and APG yet again. With 11 championships to his name, Russell was one happy camper when the year was over.


Career Resume

Stats: 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG

Awards: 11x NBA Champion, 5x MVP, 12x All-Star, 1962-63 All-Star Game MVP, 3x All-NBA First Team, 8x All-NBA Second Team, 1968-69 All-Defensive First Team, 4x Rebounding Champion

Clearly, Russell was one of the greatest players of all time. His rebounding numbers are exceptional and had blocks been recorded in his career, they too would have been record-breaking. Russell’s teammates and peers always raved about the center’s ability to dominate the defensive side of the court, a reason why he led the NBA in rebounds 4 times and would have won multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards. Not to mention, Bill never got a chance to win the Finals MVP award as it was only given out starting in the center’s last season of his career.

As a rebounder and shot-blocker who could play the ball out of the post, Bill Russell had a superstar impact that even went beyond numbers on the stat sheet. Looking at whatever clips we have from the 1950s and 1960s, it was obvious Russell made the game easier for his teammates and the Boston Celtics over his 13-year career. Russell also made 12 All-Star Teams, missing it only once in his rookie campaign.

But overall, his legacy will always be reflected by the incredible 11 NBA championships he won as a player. Making 12 NBA Finals is an incredible achievement on its own, but going 11-1 will likely never happen again. Sure, he played with some all-time great players, but it was Bill Russell that almost always made the difference in big games because his defensive tenacity and on-court leadership were truly second to none. 

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