Why Bill Russell Hated Boston Celtics Fans

Why Bill Russell Hated Boston Celtics Fans

The greatest champion in NBA history, Bill Russell, passed away this weekend at the age of 88.

Throughout his incredible basketball career the Hall of Famer won eight championships in a row, and 11 total.

He widely regarded as the most influential center in league history.

Despite being a Boston Celtics legend, Russell often clashed with the franchise’s fan base.

“The number one paper was the Boston Herald and they didn’t like the idea of an NBA team having black players,” he famously recalled prior to his death.

“Out there, the star was Bob Cousy. No matter what I did, Cousy was the star. I remember I had a game where I had 25 points, 25 rebounds, 10 blocks, and the Boston Herald said I was lucky to play with Cousy.”

And it want just the media at the time. Fans also weren’t particularly kind to the man who would go on to become synonymous with the Celtics’ franchise.

“I didn’t bother with them fans because when I was a star, the fans called us the ‘Boston Globetrotters,’” he said. “Because the Celtics had black players.”

In the context of racial dynamics at the time, the hardships Russell had to endure make sense. That said, it’s still incredible that a man who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals 12 times in 13 years and won 11 titles had to deal with so much animosity.

In a day and age when NBA agents are openly lambasting the BLM movement and racial controversies erupt every other week – it’s worth remembering what Russell was forced to deal with.

In the coming days and weeks, additional anecdotes about Russell will inevitably emerge.

As they do, hopefully younger fans get a clearer picture of what one of the all-time greats had to deal with while he paved the way for today’s generation of athletes.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.
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