Bill Russell stood his ground against Michael Jordan when he said he was going after Russell’s record while golfing together.
Bill Russell is undoubtedly the most accomplished player to have ever step foot on NBA hardwood. 11 championships and 5 league MVPs are enough to end the discussion. Michael Jordan however, is perhaps the closest to Russell in terms of both greatness and accolades.
Jordan finished his career as a 6x champ, 6x Finals MVP, and a 5x league MVP, while also snatching the ‘GOAT’ title from his predecessors on his way out. Despite having nearly half as many championships as Russell, the way in which he reached the pinnacle along with the fact that he played in a league with more than 20 teams cemented his legacy as greater than Bill’s.
This isn’t to discredit the greatest defender of all-time however as Bill Russell paved the way for big-men to become what they are today.
I mean, Russell was leading the fast-break for those Celtics teams while also locking down the paint at all costs. Modern NBA teams would kill to have a guy do even half of what the 11x champ did.
Bill Russell asked Michael Jordan which record of his is he going to break.
Given that Michael Jordan had already placed himself in the uppermost echelon of NBA players throughout history, hanging out with past greats must’ve been the norm for him during his Bulls title runs.
Bill Russell talks about one particular moment between him and Michael on the golf course where the latter confidently tells him that he and the Bulls are coming after his record. Russell asks him, “Which one?”
This is quite the rebuttal from the Celtics icon as he isn’t wrong in the slightest in asking this question. He won 11 championships but also won 8 straight. Which one was Jordan going after?
Clearly neither as the Chicago Bulls couldn’t win 8 straight nor could they win 11 championships. One might argue that had Michael Jordan not retired after winning the 1993 title that his Bulls could’ve gone on to win the ‘94 and ‘95 titles as well.