While Monday night’s award show went largely as planned – Ben Simmons took home Rookie of the Year and Dwane Casey, formerly of the Toronto Raptors, won Coach of the Year – Bill Russell had other plans as Charles Barkley introduced Oscar Robertson for his Lifetime Achievement Award.
As Barkley went around the room, thanking NBA legends for their contributions, he got to Russell, who managed to steal the second annual NBA Awards show Monday night, doing what many people, even those who find Charles Barkley hilarious and entertaining, would sometimes like to do to Sir Charles.
He flipped him off.
The Celtics great was in the crowd at Monday night’s annual NBA Awards show in Santa Monica, California, and as fellow Hall of Famer Charles Barkley thanked a number greats of the game while on stage, Russell made sure Sir Charles knows there is no love lost between the two.
The moment obviously became a social media sensation, as an 84-year-old flipping someone off on live TV should. Russell apologized on Twitter following the broadcast, saying when he sees Barkley, giving him the old one-finger salute is “pure instinct.”
It was easily the funniest and most spontaneous moment of the night.
Last year, Russell was actually on stage to present an award with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, and David Robinson and joked that he could kick all of their asses.