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“You hear and read all these tributes for Bill Russell and it makes one wonder why so many leave him off the Mt. Rushmore?”

It may have been in the 50s and 60s, but Mychal Thompson reminds everyone of the insane career achievements on Bill Russell's resume.
Boston Celtics center Bill Russell

Bill Russell

Amid all the emotional tributes for NBA legend Bill Russell, who passed away on Sunday at 88 years old, Mychal Thompson had an epiphany. According to the former Los Angeles Laker, Russell should be on everyone's Mr. Rushmore. After all, the 11-time champion was also a 5-time MVP, 2-time NCAA champion, and an Olympic gold medalist.

The ultimate resume

On Sunday, Thompson tweeted that Russell's resume alone is unlike any other and should merit him a place in the NBA's Mt. Rushmore. The 2-time champion stands firm that nobody will ever overtake Russell again regarding achievements on the court.

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"U hear and read all theez tributes to Bill Russell and it makes one wonder…If he was SO GREAT…Y do so many a yall leev him OFF yor Mt Rushmore of basketball? Hmmmmm? Y do yall? Shudnt he be ON IT? Jordan Wilt Kareem Russell? And nunna yall BETTR not say WILT DONT belong," Thompson tweeted. "11 Rings 2 NCAA titles Olympic Gold medal…Yall think there's a 10 or 11 year old sum where out there thats gonna duplicate Russell's Resume'?"

Thompson adds that Russell would've probably won more Finals MVPs had it been an award during his tenure. Unfortunately, the NBA's Finals MVP award was only a thing in 1969 — the year Russell retired as a player. Had the Finals MVP been there throughout Russell's career, the 11-time champion would probably have 11 Finals MVPs as well.

Does Russell deserve to be in the GOAT conversation?

In terms of sole achievements, there's no doubt that Russell has the case to be in the GOAT conversation. However, basketball analysts and fans always consider the era the player played in when evaluating the game's greatest superstars.

Not to take anything away from Russell, but he did win his 11 championships from 1956 - 1969 — when the 3-point line didn't exist. So it makes a little sense (albeit unfair) for people to leave him out of the GOAT debate.

That said, Russell's achievements off the court are as outstanding as he did on the court. He was the first Black head coach in the NBA and was always committed to standing up against social and civic injustice. He may not be in most people's GOAT conversations, but off the court, he wasn't just basketball's GOAT, but of sports in general. Rest in peace, Russ, the league is in good hands, in large part thanks to you.


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