By Art Beitchman
The great Bill Russell died this week at the age of 88, a life well-lived as one of the true godfathers of the NBA.
His battles with Wilt Chamberlain, first with the Philadelphia Warriors and then the Sixers, and finally with the LA Lakers, were epic, must-see duels in the paint that carried the league.
They played 143 times with Russell winning a majority of them.
The actual reasons the Celtics prevailed over the Warriors, 76ers and the Lakers were they were a much better overall team with a superior head coach in HOF-er Red Auerbach. .
The Celtics beat everyone like a drum from the late ’50s into the ’60s, losing to big Wilt only once as the 76ers won the title in 1967 with an all time team.
Besides Russell guarding the basket, the Celtics had Hall of Fame players John Havlicek, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn and K.C. Jones running with him for those title.
Nobody could beat this powerhouse, not even the amazing Wilt Chamberlain.
Those individual battles will live on through the annals of NBA history.