There is no better individual achievement or feat in NBA history than Bill Russell winning 11 championship rings. The Celtics legend is widely regarded as one of the best centers and defensive players ever, with his impact on the NBA in the 50s and 60s going beyond basketball.
Social justice warrior ahead of his time
Although he was the star of the Boston Celtics, times were vastly different back then, and Russell faced racial injustice and insults from his own fans despite leading the team into countless championship runs. That inspired Russell to be bigger than basketball and fight for the rights of those that were discriminated against. But Russell was doing that in a time that wasn't open-minded and accepting as today, without nearly the amount of money in his pocket the guys have today.
The huge auction
That, mixed with his illustrious basketball legacy, made Bill Russell a legend and favorite around the whole NBA community even to this day. At almost 88 years old, Russell is still active in the NBA waters. The latest news around the Celtics legend is that he is putting up hundreds of memorabilia up for auction in Boston, hoping to raise money for a group named "Mentor" that Bill is very close with. Everything is up for grabs, from rings, jerseys, cards, warmups, awards, game balls to trophies.
The NBA On TNT panel talked about the big auction last night, with Charles saying he will probably bid on something. Shaq was a bit more particular with his choice, as he pointed out how he wants to have all 11 of Russell's rings.
"I would have liked to seen the item before the auction. I would like to take some of that stuff off their hand. To be able to have all eleven of his rings, nobody's outbidding me on that one."
Shaquille O'Neal, NBA On TNT
That would be a boss move from Shaq, as we all know his obsession with numbers of championships and rings. Sure, "The Big Diesel" maybe didn't win them, but he would still try to get eleven of them bad boys in his collection. After all, the type of player, person, and winner Russell represented is what Shaq always strived to be. Getting something so valuable from one of his idols would definitely mean a big deal to Shaq.
The rest of the panel agreed as they all discussed some of their favorite and funniest Russell stories. Whenever people talk about Bill Russell, you can just see how much of an influence he had on everyone around. That is why even 50+ years later, we still consider him the biggest winner in basketball history. I'm pretty sure that memorabilia will be snatched quickly as I can only be jealous I can't get any of those items.