Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where Bill Russell lost track of his championships

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) June 6, 2014 Bill Russell, The Morning Dump 13 Comments

russell rings

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

It might seem strange but I did not know our Celtic teams won eight championships in a row until about 20 years ago when I read about it in a game program. Our focus was always on that particular season, always one year at a time. The year we played had nothing to do with the previous year or the next year. That’s just the way it was.

Now, I don’t know if Miami is thinking about winning three in a row. In the NBA Finals, there’s pressure and you always see how players react to the pressure. For some guys, it makes them a step slower while for other guys, it makes them a step faster. I like to watch to see how teams react to the pressure because for the really great players, there isn’t any pressure, you just go out and play.

Bill Russell on NBA.com


The preacher is preaching.

While fans, media and even some former players like to compare great teams with other great teams from different eras, it’s just not practical. The game today is a different game than when I played or even when George Mikan played. For example, you were not allowed to play zone defense and today, everyone plays a zone. On the Celtics, we had seven players who averaged double figures. Today’s good teams have only three. In my 13 years, the Celtics never had a player who led the league in scoring. As a result, when someone retired, it allowed another player to step into that slot, which enabled for a high level of consistency.

It’s a different game, which requires different skills. So, I could not legitimately compare these teams today with any of my teams nor can I compare myself to any of the players today. It’s still called basketball but it’s applied differently.

I don’t know about you, but when I read Russell talking in the first person, I like to read it so I hear his voice in my head (it’s the only one the others will shut up for).

I think it’s just spectacular that Bill Russell has won so many titles that he just forgot how many it had been in a row.  Who gets to say that?

Bill Russell does.

And he’s right about comparing eras and other players.  It’s impossible to know what certain players will do in different eras.  LeBron James wouldn’t be the LeBron we know now because there was absolutely no emphasis on lifting weights.  Conversely, that skinny kid wearing #6 for the Celtics would have been in the weight room with strength coaches and consulting with nutritionists, and who knows what… so he would have had a different body type for sure.

Both would still be damn good, but who knows what the differences would have meant for them.  We can argue that it wouldn’t have mattered but maybe it would have.  You just don’t know.

After I’m done writing this Dump, I’m just going to re-read Russell’s column all day long… because the preacher is preaching, and I’m taking in the sermon.

Related links:  Boston.com: Bill Russell says he doesn’t know how many championships he won in a row

Page 2:  Kevin Love doesn’t give a Flip, he still wants out of Minnesota

Minnesota Timberwolves president and part-owner Flip Saunders has decided to coach the team himself, he confirmed to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

[...] When Rick Adelman retired at the end of the regular season, he did so in part to try to help the Timberwolves move forward with a plan to show Kevin Love, a three-time All-Star who can opt out of his contract next summer, that there was a long-term plan in place for success.

But Love’s tenuous situation only complicated the search process, with trade rumors serving as a caution sign for several high-profile candidates.

Sources reiterated to ESPN.com on Thursday that Saunders’ move back to the bench will have no impact on Love’s determination to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

ESPN: Flip Saunders to take over as coach

Oh Minnesota…

This franchise is a mess.  This just goes to show what a string of bad decisions can do.  They went from Kevin McHale (oh this hurts) who was in charge but swears he didn’t know about a secret deal with Joe Smith that was exposed and cost Minnesota FOUR first round draft picks, to David Kahn and his point guard obsession and general buffoonery, to Flip Saunders who many correctly predicted would jump back into the head coaching role the first chance he got.

Basically, no one has really run this franchise correctly.  They’re lucky they landed one of the most transcendent players in NBA history to lift them out of their craptitude for a few years, because Lord knows how bad things would be if Kevin Garnett never existed.

So of COURSE Kevin Love doesn’t care if Flip Saunders is the coach.  The only coaches that might have convinced him to stay would be Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers… and those guys are pretty busy right now.

Minny’s a goddamn mess, which is good for us if we can swing this damn deal.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Report:  Kevin Love still wants to leave Minnesota  |  Globe:  Flip Saunders names himself head coach

And Finally…

In a Finals Game 1 so full of great moments, my favorite came before the game courtesy of a Tim Duncan hook shot to the towel guy.

Just amazing!

The rest of the links

Boston.com:  Gatorade trolls LeBron after cramps  |  Duncan & Popovich mirror New England’s most successful pairing  |  ESPN Boston:  Green is in Nick Johnson’s blood  |  WEEI:  Draft’s potential Celtics: Dario Saric  |  Rondo wakes up America  |  MassLive:  Akeem Williams lives Celtics dream for a day

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  • eddysamson

    Its always SO FUNNY to see LeBron’s ass get carried off the court.

    • Curt Hays

      I also wanted to point out that Russell described the consistency HIS teams had (his as a player and coach, love it) when a guy retired. Not when a guy was traded or went into free agency, etc. Way different time indeed.

      And I have no idea why I posted this as a reply to you, Eddie. My bad. Have an upvote.

  • Curt Hays

    I don’t believe in the supernatural, but last night makes me think that Red’s ghost had something to do with the A/C failure.

  • Curt Hays

    So since Bill Russell has 11 rings, does he wear two on the middle finger in order to keep that finger up at all times? Sorta giving on to the haterz?

  • swissflix

    A real king would not leave his men on the battlefield by themselves…

    • Curt Hays

      Richard the Lionheart did. It happens. :-)

      LBJ was cramping. That means he played hard and/or didn’t prepare sufficiently. Someone doesn’t have him taking the right electrolyte supplements. What’s funny about that is that Carmelo puts his name on Isotonix from Market America. It is actually one of the best cramp preventing products around.

      • swissflix

        aaarghh. history was never my favorite class!:)
        Lebron apparently cannot take the heat.

        • Curt Hays

          LMAO, NICE. I am sure that was already a headline in some paper. If not, you deserve a Pulitzer.

          Richard the Lionheart was killed in battle. Don’t feel bad for not being a nerd.

          • swissflix

            Well, when it comes to green & white, i take pride in being a nerd ;)
            To be fair, i am sure Lebron played hard. But the Spurs were still in the game despite having 23 turnovers. Gotta respect that.

  • KGino

    No mention of Lecramp? C’mon now.

    Add it to the history of him exaggerating/faking injuries when the going gets tough. Like in 2010 when he started taking lefty free throws bc he knew the celts were coming next series. Lol. Guy has choked in 2 of the last 3 finals, he clearly lacks the toughness the great ones had

  • Brad P

    Cramping is no joke, but he still could have hopped on the other leg instead of being carried

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