Bill Russell is definitely one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA. After all, the NBA Final’s MVP trophy is named after him which obviously proves the contribution he made to the game of basketball. Bill Russell gave a lot to the game of basketball, both on and off the court which heavily impacted the game and revolutionized the NBA forever.
But the Boston Celtics legend said he did not talk to his kids about playing the game. Russell might have been too brilliant at basketball to discuss it with his kids, but at least once he agreed to play one of his sons one-on-one. In an interview with Bill Simmons, Russell recalled the last time he played basketball after his professional career and game 7 in 1969 finals.
“I took my kids to the Olympics in 1972. And my oldest son played basketball every day and challenged me for a competition”. Russell responded he doesn’t play basketball anymore but his son continued to provoke his old man. “You’re scared of being embarrassed? – on which Russell simply responded with “No”.
After further convincing his father to play him one-on-one Bil Russell agreed, and they decided to play until someone scores 21 points. Russell proceeds to destroy his son and goes up 19-0. Russell than did something very remarkable and let his son score two points. He scored 2 points for the final score 21-2-
When he asked why he let him score twice, Russell simply said
“There are two reasons. For one, you can’t go away and said I was so mean and squashed you. You can also brag that you scored two points on the great Bill Russell.”
He never challenged him for a one-on-one game and this was also the last time Bill Russell played a game of basketball. An empty court in Munich, Germany only Bill Russell and his older son.