“I’m not saying anything bad about Wilt Chamberlain” – Bill Russell following the Eastern Division Finals victory in 1966

Following the 1966 Eastern Division Finals, Russell would not speak poorly of his bitter adversary.


Although Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary stats were unmatched by any other NBA player, Bill Russell’s vast collection of championships was so great that he eventually ran out of fingers to count them all.


On the one hand, Wilt’s supporters contend that the continual pressure he faced to be the best player on every team contributed to his two championship victories. Another criticism is that Wilt didn’t have the same cast of supporting characters as Russell; Wilt’s critics also wrote him off as a simple stat-paddler


But after the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Division Finals in the 1966 NBA Playoffs, the five-time MVP freely expressed his feelings about the eleven-time Rebound Champion.

Bill Russell and the Celtics were too strong for the Sixers.
Chamberlain finally gained the upper hand against Russell during the 1965–66 regular season. In addition to winning MVP honors, his Sixers’ remarkable 55-25 record allowed them to defeat Boston for the first seed in the Eastern Conference.

But when the two teams met in the Conference Finals, “The Big Dipper” scored 25 points and pulled down 32 rebounds, but the Celtics humiliated the Sixers with a 19-point loss in the first meeting. As if that loss weren’t agonizing enough, Boston triumphed handily 21 points later to take a decisive 2-0 lead in the series.


The Celtics defeated the 76ers in five games, even though Chamberlain’s average of 28.0 points and 30.2 rebounds per game eclipsed Russell’s average of 5.6 points and 26.2 rebounds per game. After defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the Championship round, this triumph helped them secure their eighth consecutive championship.


Regarding Wilt Chamberlain, Russell

The seven-time scoring champion put up incredible numbers, including as 46 points and 34 rebounds in the pivotal Game 5, but his 8-of-25 shooting from the charity stripe overshadowed all of his hard work. In “Wilt: Larger than Life,” Robert Cherry’s biography, Bill offered his genuine opinions about Chamberlain along with his reflections on the series and how the Sixers misjudged the Celtics


Russell remarked, “I think this is a team game.” “I have nothing negative to say about Wilt Chamberlain. I chose him as the Most Valuable Player because he had a fantastic season.”


The eleven-time NBA Champion mentioned in closing that the Celtics were determined to silence those who thought their team’s dominance stemmed from the luxury of finishing series at home.




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