Bill Russell and today's athletes

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Duke4. Show Duke4's posts

    Bill Russell and today's athletes

    So, I just read where Rondo is averaging 39.2 mpg, which puts him at 5th highest in the league. Today's athletes are so much bigger and stronger right? So how do we explain Bill Russell averaging over 40 minutes per game for his career? He averaged 40+ minutes 10 times in 13 years....including 42.7 mpg in his final season for Boston. At his peak, he regularly played around 45 mpg.....I believe that total went up during the play-offs (that is off the top of my head).
    I keep hearing the Russ couldn't keep up with today's larger and faster athletes. I think it is the other way around....imagine him with an added 30 pounds of muscle...like Wilt, he would probably play close to 48 mpg.....just like pitch counts in baseball....are today's athletes babied? King James is already complaining about his minutes....it is hard to believe...
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from TeamUmbutu. Show TeamUmbutu's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Duke,

    Russell will always be, and has always been a great great player.

    However, things that are true in one era are not necessarily true in another era.

    Rule changes, and how the referees interpret rules change from era to era, changing the game, how it affects players, and which players have the biggest advantages.

    Putting Russell into todays game takes away some of his advantages, and if Shaq were sent back to Russell's era it would take away some of his advantages.

    People can watch Russ play Wilt on U-tube or other from other sources. It becomes obvious that while harder fouls were allowed back then, contact was not allowed to the degree that it is today. Today low post players use size and mass to wrestle for position. In the 60s it was not allowed like it is today. If you put Russ on Shaq in his prime, Shaq would be too much for Russ. If you put Shaq back into the 60s, I have no doubt that Russ would win.

    Wrestling takes a lot out of a player, especially on defense. For that reason, while both Ray and KG are in amazing shape, KG expends much more energy and requires fewer minutes.

    Make no mistake, I thing Russell is a God, however, the Era issue does make a difference.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Duke4. Show Duke4's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Of course, I see your points and I am in agreement. However, remember that the Celtics used to run for 48 minutes per game....Red invented the fast break. The players had pretty good stamina back in the day. But today there is much more "wrestling for position" etc.....still, I think today's athletes are babied too much. Take MLB....the Dodgers (my team) are credited with creating the 5 man rotation....one reason was their abundance of talent. Before this became the norm Koufax and Drysdale started 40 games....completed 25+...went 300+ innings....yet the season was still 162 games back then....and teams played double headers....the WS was over by early October....now everyone is concerned with pitch counts, days between starts, etc....of course it is probably due too the money the athletes make today...but still, guys really needed to make all they could in those days...they even got p/t off season jobs....no millionaire ballplayers would went thorough the motions...as has been said...."bigger does not always make for better"...just my take...
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Karllost. Show Karllost's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]So, I just read where Rondo is averaging 39.2 mpg, which puts him at 5th highest in the league. Today's athletes are so much bigger and stronger right? So how do we explain Bill Russell averaging over 40 minutes per game for his career? He averaged 40+ minutes 10 times in 13 years....including 42.7 mpg in his final season for Boston. At his peak, he regularly played around 45 mpg.....I believe that total went up during the play-offs (that is off the top of my head). I keep hearing the Russ couldn't keep up with today's larger and faster athletes. I think it is the other way around....imagine him with an added 30 pounds of muscle...like Wilt, he would probably play close to 48 mpg.....just like pitch counts in baseball....are today's athletes babied? King James is already complaining about his minutes....it is hard to believe...
    Posted by Duke4[/QUOTE]

    Simple answer imo... they make too darn much $$$

    Back in the Russell era, most all pro sports teams  stars werent making much money, not even close to todays standards. They worked for thousands of dollars, not millions.

    Even when Magic came along... I recall later in is career, he resigned with the Lakers for 25 years, at a million per. Back then, it seemed like the Lakers were nuts.. a million a year? 

    Today the stars are concerned about their health much more. They aint goin 45 minutes, could shorten their career...and 1 or 2 years off a career means 10's of millions of dollars. 

    Of course, they are also spoiled. The marketing has gone berzerk. Theyre involved in al sorts of businesses and stuff. What did the 1962 Celtics make as a team?  peanuts... Nobody had marketing deals or at least very few.. im just guessing.

    Put Russell in todays game... assuming he got the advantages of todays training and experts.. he'd still be a monster. The human body is the human body. Athletes today are trained year round since grammar school, technique, lifting, cardio  you name it. Had Russ gone that route, he'd have been even better imo.


     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from RUWorthy. Show RUWorthy's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Bill Russell would dominate any era. Why? Because his basketball IQ is off the charts. He also comes across as generally being very intelligent.

    What concerns me about Russells legacy is that you get people who discount it, and people who follow basketball who don't know who he is. It's like somebody not knowing the date of the Pearl Harbor attack.

    The man is the greatest basketball player who ever played. What hurts Russell is that he didn't play in the (so called) Modern era, there was no TV coverage like today, no soundbites, no saturation bombardment of all things Russell. So people forget. You had Lebron going on about honoring Jordan by not wanting to wear #23 and how it should be retired league wide. I think this shows how ignorant he is to the basic history of his own sport. Also doesn't say much about his general intelligence level.

    Rule changes are one thing, but Russell showed that he was able to evolve over his career, I have no doubt he'd have dominated any era. The man was the ultimate winner. His greatest achievement in my opinion was his last two seasons, where he coached the Celtics to two championships.

    I'd love to see a player be able to do that today. But I know we'll never see that situation again. Does actually make me wonder if anyone could have coached that team. Think about it. A rookie coach, taking a team to back to back championships, while playing a key role on the court. That's the greatest feat ever in basketball. I can't think of something that comes close to that.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from SeemsToMe. Show SeemsToMe's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]So, I just read where Rondo is averaging 39.2 mpg, which puts him at 5th highest in the league. Today's athletes are so much bigger and stronger right? So how do we explain Bill Russell averaging over 40 minutes per game for his career? He averaged 40+ minutes 10 times in 13 years....including 42.7 mpg in his final season for Boston. At his peak, he regularly played around 45 mpg.....I believe that total went up during the play-offs (that is off the top of my head). I keep hearing the Russ couldn't keep up with today's larger and faster athletes. I think it is the other way around....imagine him with an added 30 pounds of muscle...like Wilt, he would probably play close to 48 mpg.....just like pitch counts in baseball....are today's athletes babied? King James is already complaining about his minutes....it is hard to believe...
    Posted by Duke4[/QUOTE]
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Celtsfan4life. Show Celtsfan4life's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    What you say about Russell is absolutely true.  Its also true about several other athletes and they simply will never get the credit they deserve (Big O, Tiny Archibald, Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, etc).   That's the problem trying to compare athletes across different eras.  Most people of even adult age never saw these players play and don't understand that while the rules are different, these athletes did without the strength and conditioning training things that can only be considered as amazing.  Jordan won MVPs and Championships and is considered the greatest player ever.  In my mind, he's not as great as Russell, Chamberlain, and Big O (who averaged a triple double).  Heck, just look at Russell's and Oscar's college careers - more dominant personally than Jordan's by any stretch.

    But, the one thing about conditioning of today's athletes is this:  Its not that they can't complete a game and play 45 minutes or pitch a full game.  Its that in order to be at their peak, a little rest during the game is mandatory.   In today's game, there are more specialists who can provide subs (every baseball team has a closer and more pitchers to relieve and an NBA roster's 7th through 10th player is more productive than in the old era).    So, if you can rest your star and put some of these guys in - you'd do it.   In Russell's era, they would have done the same thing if any backup centers were good enough to do it.

    Russell and O are my favorite old school NBA players and I consider them both BETTER than Jordan, Magic, Lebron, Bird, etc.   However, I think players 7 through 10 may be better today so the top players don't HAVE to play as many minutes and can stay fresher deeper into the game.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from SeemsToMe. Show SeemsToMe's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Duke4 & Karllost

    Its all about the style of play. Sure Russ played more minutes, but in those days you could have played in a Tuxedo.That was " bronze age" basketball back in the 60's. Sure it was enjoyable to watch and Russ and Wilt were light years ahead of the competition. They were the new breed that benefited from playing at a time that old style basketball was still a major factor.Please understand that Russ is my favorite player  and I prefer to judge him based on his achievments of  the 50's and 60's and the caliber of play during those years.He Dominated beyond belief for sure. But that was then.An now- It would be a vastly different game for the Russell of the 50's and 60's to dominate I don't think he would.But then, thats just one persons opinion.

    SeemsToMe
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TeamUmbutu. Show TeamUmbutu's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    It is just as likely that if many of today's NBA stars went back to the 60s and played, Russ and others would dominate the "modern stars".

    Different game, different rules, and different talents required for domination.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SeemsToMe. Show SeemsToMe's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]It is just as likely that if many of today's NBA stars went back to the 60s and played, Russ and others would dominate the "modern stars". Different game, different rules, and different talents required for domination.
    Posted by TeamUmbutu[/QUOTE]

    Not the case.The modern's have all the tools to dominate the old timers.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RUWorthy. Show RUWorthy's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Russell may not have dominated in the same way. But he would have won a lot of titles if he played in todays league. Not 11 but at least he would have been around 4 or 5 titles. Maybe more.

    He's my favourite player off all time. Absolute living legend in my eyes. So I'm pretty biased when it comes to Russell. But I still think he'd have been the best player in todays league. He'd have adapted. Just the kind of man he is.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from EliasB. Show EliasB's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Duke, once again like clockwork you bring up a stat or story to enflame this tired old debate about the ancient NBA with today's NBA.

    I hate to be the one to disagree with you all but c'mon, you all cannot be serious about Bill Russell being able to "dominate" in today's NBA? In case you guys haven't noticed but no team in todays league has a center that is under 7 feet. Bill Russell who was listed between 6'9" and 6'10" would'nt even qualify to play his own position yet some of you claim he would "dominate any era"? Seriously? C'mon, let's be a little realistic... Today's league looks nothing like the league Russell played in - there were only 8 teams in the NBA back then dominated by more than 80% white guys!

    If I could ask the genius who thinks Russell is the greatest player of all time in every generation, what position would he play? Seriously, if young Russell was brought up in time WHAT POSITION WOULD HE PLAY? 

    "Most people of even adult age never saw these players play and don't understand that while the rules are different, these athletes did without the strength and conditioning training things that can only be considered as amazing."

    Excuse me? The amazing things they did were against far inferier players then there are in today's game - hello! Of course it was amazing to watch them play then... but no more amazing than it is to watch today's superstars - that's why the're star players.

    Let me put it to you this way: If midgets had a league, I'm sure there would be a "superstar" midget basketball player among them. How "amazing" would it be to watch the "superstar" play among midgets? As amazing as it is to watch Lebron or Kobe today... or Russell back in his day. However, watching a "superstar" midget basketball player play against say players way out of his league would be no fun now would it?  To match up Bill Russell against players of today like Shaq is like matching up a really good 6'9" or 6'10" basketball player who plays center against centers in today's NBA.

    No contest.

    Cool 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from EliasB. Show EliasB's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    ...oh yeah and Duke, please lay off the baseball comparison. It doesn't work for your argument as well as you think it does. Baseball (and especially the pitching position) is not a contact sport. Your point is moot.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from RUWorthy. Show RUWorthy's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    I don't think we should discount the ability of players from the past when comparing them with today's players.

    Said it before but Russells basketball IQ is one of the things that set him apart from the other players of his era and would have done so today. He's still be a champion player if he was a young man drafted in 2010. Would be a power forward and would be probably a Tim Duncan type of player. But with more intelligence on the court.

    There's so much marketing and hype surrounding today's players that people's skills are at times inflated beyond belief. But this can also work when we look back to the past. However Russell was from what I've read, and understand was just a freak when it came to Basketball.

    It's like saying that Patton wouldn't be a great General if he was magically transplanted into todays army. He'd learn quick and become as good as leader if he was in the 1940's. Not saying every General would be like that. But there are some exceptions.

    Same thing can exist for sports people.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Celtsfan4life. Show Celtsfan4life's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    I'm with Worthy....Russell would have had the same benefit of weight training and speed skills so I don't give today's athletes and edge there.  However, Russell's basketball (and his overall) IQ is so high that he would have excelled.  Maybe not 11 championships, but definitely multiple championships.   If you read his book, you'd understand how much of what he did was outsmarting the other player, not just more athletic.   

    This very discussion is why I said Russell and Oscar will NEVER get the credit they deserve.  People who watch today's athletes will assume so quickly that today's athletes are better and would not give Russell the respect of knowing HE would have developed strength like others but would have the edge with his intellect, teamwork, and competitiveness.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from modod. Show modod's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]Duke, once again like clockwork you bring up a stat or story to enflame this tired old debate about the ancient NBA with today's NBA. I hate to be the one to disagree with you all but c'mon, you all cannot be serious about Bill Russell being able to "dominate" in today's NBA? In case you guys haven't noticed but no team in todays league has a center that is under 7 feet. Bill Russell who was listed between 6'9" and 6'10" would'nt even qualify to play his own position yet some of you claim he would "dominate any era"? Seriously? C'mon, let's be a little realistic... Today's league looks nothing like the league Russell played in - there were only 8 teams in the NBA back then dominated by more than 80% white guys! If I could ask the genius who thinks Russell is the greatest player of all time in every generation, what position would he play? Seriously, if young Russell was brought up in time WHAT POSITION WOULD HE PLAY?  "Most people of even adult age never saw these players play and don't understand that while the rules are different, these athletes did without the strength and conditioning training things that can only be considered as amazing." Excuse me? The amazing things they did were against far inferier players then there are in today's game - hello! Of course it was amazing to watch them play then... but no more amazing than it is to watch today's superstars - that's why the're star players. Let me put it to you this way: If midgets had a league, I'm sure there would be a "superstar" midget basketball player among them. How "amazing" would it be to watch the "superstar" play among midgets? As amazing as it is to watch Lebron or Kobe today... or Russell back in his day. However, watching a "superstar" midget basketball player play against say players way out of his league would be no fun now would it?  To match up Bill Russell against players of today like Shaq is like matching up a really good 6'9" or 6'10" basketball player who plays center against centers in today's NBA. No contest.  
    Posted by EliasB[/QUOTE]
    So, you don't consider Chamberlain, Thurmond, and others of that era to be similar to the centers in the league now? What you don't apparently understand or consider is that Russell did not compete on the basis of size. He used his skill, technique, and quickness to offset his relative lack of size. I agree that he probably wouldn't have won as many championships, but I learned early on to NEVER bet against Bill Russell. He would play the same position and be very effective.Another smallish Celtic center did pretty well also. Remember Dave Cowens?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SeemsToMe. Show SeemsToMe's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]I'm with Worthy....Russell would have had the same benefit of weight training and speed skills so I don't give today's athletes and edge there.  However, Russell's basketball (and his overall) IQ is so high that he would have excelled.  Maybe not 11 championships, but definitely multiple championships.   If you read his book, you'd understand how much of what he did was outsmarting the other player, not just more athletic.    This very discussion is why I said Russell and Oscar will NEVER get the credit they deserve.  People who watch today's athletes will assume so quickly that today's athletes are better and would not give Russell the respect of knowing HE would have developed strength like others but would have the edge with his intellect, teamwork, and competitiveness.
    Posted by Celtsfan4life[/QUOTE]

    Why not just compare the Russell of the 50's and 60's with the players of the present. Why the need for a remake?. Sort of sounds like the Russell of the 60's doesn't measure up to the standards of the present.

    SeemsToMe  
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Number6Fan. Show Number6Fan's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Yes, I go back that far, and have followed the C's ever since -- and Russ is still the greatest of them all.  It's not even close.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Karllost. Show Karllost's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    The argument here seems to be centers today are all 7 footers and therefore Russell couldnt compete.  Well, tell me about todays 7' centers.

    Eric Dampier? Z?

    Like someone else said, Russell played Nate Thurmond, Wilt & a bunch of others... 7 footers... great players.  Russell knew how to play them. Why didnt his teams get shellacked by these teams? Oh, thats right, Boston had all HOFers right? lol 

    With the advantage of modern day training, Russell would have been up to par with anyone.  Im tired of this balony that because today..an athlete has bigger muscles and is taller it therefore means hes superior. Yet, we have a bunch of chumps playing center in the NBA for the most part and youre saying Russell couldnt? Ridiculous... (see Dave Cowens, who handled Kareem real good by the way)

    Russell is the greatest of all time..period! MJ, Larry, Big O, West, Magic, Wilt are all in line for second place. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from EliasB. Show EliasB's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    Your nuts...


    Cool
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from mem17. Show mem17's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    The great players from yesteryear would still be great players today. However there are more good players now than back in the 60's and 70's. Some of the average players of that era would not be in the NBA today. But players like Russ, Big O, Kareem, Wilt, Hondo, West etc would still be allstars today. No doubt about it.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from aciemvp. Show aciemvp's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]Make no mistake, I thing Russell is a God, however, the Era issue does make a difference.
    Posted by TeamUmbutu[/QUOTE]

    well, somewhat.  but you can assume that from era to era, shak would not be as large in the 60s as he is now, just as you could assume that a modern day russell would be larger.  no urgent need to analyze in a vacum, right? 

    one thing is for sure, imagine your best modern day help / mop up / accident prevention shot blocker- and russell would have been AT LEAST twice the blocked shot artist.  he was that then and would have been that now too. 

    to deal with the modern rigors, he would have been 20 or 25 pounds heavier like you say, all muscle, and still able to swat not only his man's shots, but recover and help on other teamates' men who get by them, and attack many things in an open court scenario that are never touched these days.

    how many BPG would russell be today, or how many was he back then?  the answer for either is more than mark eaton or olajuwon ever was.  even manute bol was a game changer, all 2.8 ppg of him.  russell fashioned himself as a psychological assassin and he did that mostly through psychologically debilitating opponents with blocked shots all over the floor. 

    he STILL would do that in today's game, rule changes and all.  just imagine the modern game with a 6 or 7 BPG nightly force.  the league has never seen it, since russell or wilt.  and of the two, russell would still do it today, not sure about wilt.

    just imagine a scaled up ben wallace- and ben averaged 3.5 blocks at his peak.  i dare say that russell would double that in the modern game, and maybe then some.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from aciemvp. Show aciemvp's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes:
    [QUOTE]What concerns me about Russells legacy is that you get people who discount it, and people who follow basketball who don't know who he is. It's like somebody not knowing the date of the Pearl Harbor attack.
    Posted by RUWorthy[/QUOTE]

    unfortunately, the blocked shot was never tracked when russell played.  if it was, then people NEVER would be at risk of forgetting him.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from TeamUmbutu. Show TeamUmbutu's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    I have never liked the argument that if some one were bigger and stronger they could compete today. That is like saying if a guy was someone else they could compete today.

    The only reason why strength is important in today's game is not because guys are bigger and stronger today, it is because the rules have changed substantially to allow wrestling for position. Pierce out muscles most of his opponents to get to the hoop, and Shaq out muscles everyone. Under those circumstances a guy who weighs 235 pounds has no chance against Shaq or Howard, or Ming.

    However. if these guys were magically sent back to the sixties with their current skill set, they would not be allowed to move people out of the way because it would be a foul. Under those circumstances, Russ's abilities, shot blocking, super human quickness, and athleticism would dominate guys like Shaq, Howard and Ming.

    The argument goes both ways. For those of you who are too young to have seen Russell play, go look up Russell vs. Chamberlain on U-tube. Watch how the game is different. You don't see the great Wilt fighting for position. In fact they barely touch if at all.

    The game is that much different. Watch before you comment.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from PierceIsTheTruth. Show PierceIsTheTruth's posts

    Re: Bill Russell and today's athletes

    the league today is too thug, back then it was a different game. Russell and chamberlain would have been great in the league today. i watch some of the highlights and they do great things.


     

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