Younger basketball fans should take note of these Bill Russell stats. This five-time NBA Most Valuable Player awardee was feared by opposing teams because of his formidable defensive presence. With teammates oozing with talent and an unorthodox head coach, Bill Russell formed the cornerstone of the powerhouse Boston Celtics teams which dominated the NBA in the 1960s.
- Career stats average of 22.5 rebounds per game. Bill Russell was a rebounding machine. Although not exceptionally tall by today's standards, Russell was listed at 6 feet 9 inches which made him a behemoth during his time. However, it wasn't just about height. Bill Russell was also gifted with amazing athleticism, phenomenal strength and uncanny timing.
- Career stats average of 2.7 personal fouls per game. It is incredible how a physical, defensive stopper like Russell was able to minimize getting personal fouls called against him. He was usually called upon to shut down the opposing team's best scorer. Although his defense was unforgiving, Russell also knew how to avoid the referee's whistle.
- Career stats average of 15.1 points per game. In a team loaded with the likes of John Havlicek and Bob Cousy, Russell did not have to worry about scoring so much. The Celtic great was an accomplished scorer but he knew exactly what his role was. However, whenever the opportunity presented itself, he was never gun shy and was quick to go on offensive mode.
- Career stats average of 4.3 assists per game. His teammate, Bob Cousy was the team's “quarterback” and had a knack for finding the open man. Russell was not as exceptional a passer, but he also possessed excellent court vision. For a big man, he was more than adequate when it came to racking up his own assists record.
- Career stats average of 0.44 field goal percentage. Although Russell was never known for his shooting accuracy, his field goal percentage was more than respectable. The bulk of his points came from within ten feet of the basket. When attempting a shot, he was adept at using his height and heft against those who were tasked to guard him.
- Career stats average of 0.561 in free throw percentage. Like most NBA big men, Bill Russell's Achilles heel was his free throw shooting. He was frequently fouled in the act of shooting and spent a considerable amount of time at the free throw line. Pundits have blamed his extremely large hands or his awkward shooting motion for his lack of success at the stripe. Whatever it was, Russell never developed the consistency needed to become a good free throw shooter.
- Career stats average of 42.3 minutes per game. He was undoubtedly the best player on the team. Bill Russell was extremely active on both ends of the court. It was usually only when the team was comfortably ahead or if he was saddled with personal fouls early during the game that Russell sat the bench.
- Rookie season stats average of 14.7 points, 19.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Bill Russell had a very successful college stint, helping the University of San Francisco win two NCAA titles. Still, come NBA draft time he was only chosen third behind Tom Heinsohn and Sihugo Green. Heinsohn, who became his teammate with the Boston Celtics, managed to edge him out for the 1957 Rookie of the Year award.
- Career stats average of 16.2 points, 24.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per playoff game. Bill Russell was the driving force behind the Celtics' amazing eleven NBA championships during his stellar, thirteen-year career. He was always amazing during the regular season. Like most elite players though, he was able to raise his game a notch during the playoffs.
- Career stats average of 0.540 in win-loss percentage as head coach. When Red Auerbach announced his retirement prior to the 1966-67 NBA season, he named Bill Russell as his successor. He took over as player-coach and helped his team win two championships in his dual role as cager and bench tactician. He eventually coached Seattle and Sacramento but he was unable to help those teams win any championships.
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