Any Boston Celtic’s fans out there? Some interesting points about Bill Rusell. Oh Yes, we carry Bill’s shoe size in a 14, we go to a 17 in length and 15 in women’s length as well, and if Bill needs wider width – we have up to 14 E widths in our line of shoes and that is for women as well.
Bill Russell was the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics’ dynasty of the 1960s, an uncanny shot blocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 12-time All-Star, the angular center amassed 21,620 career rebounds, an average of 22.5 per game and led the league in rebounding four times. He had 51 boards in one game, 49 in two others and a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds.
His many individual accolades were well deserved, but they were only products of Bill’s philosophy of team play. His greatest accomplishment was bringing the storied Celtics 11 championships in his 13 seasons. Until the ascent of Michael Jordan in the 1980s, Bill was acclaimed by many as the greatest player in the history of the NBA.
William Felton Russell was born on February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana. His family moved cross-country to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Bill attended McClymonds High School in Oakland. He was an awkward, unremarkable center on McClymonds’s basketball team, but his size earned him a scholarship to play at the University of San Francisco, where he blossomed.
Bill grew to be a shade over 6-9, and he teamed with guard K. C. Jones to lead the Dons to 56 consecutive victories and NCAA Championships in 1955 and 1956 (although Jones missed four games of the 1956 tournament because his eligibility had expired). Bill was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1955.
Bill averaged 20.7 points and 20.3 rebounds in his three-year varsity career. By his senior season he had matured into a dominant force who could control a game at the defensive end. With the 1956 NBA Draft approaching, Boston Celtics Coach and General Manager Red Auerbach was eager to add Bill Rusell to his lineup. Auerbach had built a high-scoring offensive machine around guards Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman and undersized center Ed Macauley, but he hadn’t been able to muster the defense and rebounding needed to transform the Celtics into a championship-caliber club. Russell, Auerbach felt, was the missing piece to the puzzle.
However, because of their second-place finish the year before, the Celtics would be picking too late in the draft to get Russell. And because Auerbach wanted to use a territorial selection to nab Holy Cross star Tom Heinsohn, Boston would forfeit its first-round pick altogether. So Auerbach began to think trade, and he set his sights on the St. Louis Hawks, who owned the second overall pick in the draft.
The first pick belonged to the Rochester Royals, but that team already had a promising young rebounder in Maurice Stokes, and Auerbach knew that Royals owner Les Harrison was not going to pay Russell the $25,000 signing bonus he was asking for. Rochester selected guard Sihugo Green, who played nine seasons in the league with five different teams (including, ironically, the Celtics in 1965-66).
St. Louis owner Ben Kerner was willing to talk trade, and the key was Macauley. The 6-8 center was a six-time All-Star at that point and a local hero in St. Louis, where he had grown up and then started for St. Louis University. Auerbach could afford to give up Macauley if he was getting Russell, but it was not until Boston agreed to add rookie Cliff Hagan to the mix that Kerner consented to the trade. The deal brought the Hawks a championship in 1958, but it brought the Celtics a dynasty.
In that same draft, Boston added Heinsohn, who would be NBA Rookie of the Year for 1956-57, and K. C. Jones, Russell’s college teammate who would also become a stalwart of the Boston juggernaut.
Russell didn’t join the Celtics until December because he was a member of the 1956 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which won a gold medal at the Melbourne Games in November. The Celtics had bolted to a 13-3 start, and when Russell arrived he adapted quickly. Playing in 48 games, he pulled down 19.6 RPG, the best average in the league, while scoring 14.7 ppg.
Boston’s starting five of Russell, Heinsohn, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, and Jim Loscutoff was a high-octane unit. They posted the best regular-season record in the NBA in 1956-57, waltzed through the playoffs, and were heavily favored in the Finals against Bob Pettit’s St. Louis Hawks. The teams traded victories until the series came down to a dramatic Game 7 in Boston. Tom Heinsohn scored 37 points for Boston, but the Celtics couldn’t pull away. Last-second scores by the Hawks sent the game into overtime and then into a second extra period. The Celtics finally prevailed, 125-123, for their first NBA Championship.
In only part of a season Bill Rusell had added a new element to the Celtics and to professional basketball. For the previous few years, the Celtics had been an unstoppable offensive machine led by 20-point scorers Cousy and Sharman, both future Hall of Famers. But Boston had lacked the rebounding and defense to win it all. Now what Bill brought was a new level of defensive artistry, intimidating opponents with blocked shots and proving that it didn’t take a scorer to dominate a game.
Russell was voted the NBA Most Valuable Player for 1957-58. Oddly enough, he was only named to the All-NBA Second Team. In fact, during the five years that Russell was voted league MVP, only twice did he make the All-NBA First Team. The argument was that, while other centers were better than Russell — that is, they had more conventional skills — no player meant more to his team.
Russell repeated as the NBA rebounding leader in 1958-59, grabbing 23.0 per game, the first of seven consecutive campaigns in which he averaged at least 23 boards. Russell was also known for extending his effort at critical moments, both within a game and within a season. Consequently, he typically improved his rebounding numbers during the playoffs, and in the 1959 postseason he pulled down 27.7 boards per game.
The Celtics reached the NBA Finals for a third straight season and regained the crown with a four-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers. Russell set a Finals record with 29.5 RPG in the series, and he helped launch the greatest championship run in the history of professional sports. Boston’s 1959 title began an unprecedented and unequaled string of eight consecutive NBA Championships.
Interestingly, although Russell was not considered a skilled offensive player, he was a selective shooter and in his early years ranked regularly among the NBA’s top five in field-goal percentage. In 1958-59, for example, his .457 mark was second in the league.
Bill’s greatest adversary, Wilt Chamberlain, entered the NBA and joined the Philadelphia Warriors for the 1959-60 season, setting up a decade-long rivalry. The debate over who was the greater player would last even longer. Chamberlain put up incredible numbers during the period in which the two went head to head, but Russell helped the Celtics hang nine NBA championship flags in the Garden in his first 10 seasons.
Chamberlain led the league in scoring (37.6 ppg) in his first season, and he took the rebounding crown from Russell, 27.0 to 24.0 RPG. The Celtics’ center had one monstrous game, however, when he pulled down 51 rebounds against the Syracuse Nationals in the 1959-1960 season. It ranks as the second-best rebounding effort in NBA history, behind Chamberlain’s 55 against the Celtics on the next season.
Chamberlain was great, but the Celtics were better. They improved their regular-season record to 59-16 in 1959-60, at one point running off 17 straight victories. They eliminated Chamberlain and the Warriors in the division finals, then met St. Louis again in the 1960 NBA Finals. Russell stepped up his play in the title series, setting an NBA Finals record with 40 rebounds in Game 2 (surpassed by Chamberlain with 41in 1967). The Hawks extended the series to seven games, but Russell dominated Game 7, contributing 22 points and 35 rebounds as the Celtics won, 122-103, and notched their second consecutive championship.
While Bill Russell was changing the way the NBA viewed defense, the league still appeared to be in an era of runaway offense, with Chamberlain leading the way. Even the defense-oriented Celtics averaged 124.5 points. Russell’s impact on the game can’t really be tracked through NBA statistics. Blocked shots were not an official statistic until 1973-74, and the league only recorded total rebounds, without distinguishing between offensive and defensive boards until that same season.
Russell was revolutionizing the game in ways that were clearly understood, even if they weren’t measured. His ability to leave his man and slide over to cover an opponent driving to the hoop was startling. He was unmatched at swooping across the lane like a big bird to block and alter shots. The rest of the Celtics defenders began to funnel their men toward Russell and become more daring with their perimeter defense, knowing that he was looming behind.
All of this played mind games with opposing shooters near the basket and had a disrupting effect as they began to sense Russell’s imposing presence. Furthermore, other centers started to model their own defensive play after Russell’s, and while they might not have been as skillful at it, it changed the way the game was played. Interestingly, Russell’s style of play also rejuvenated Boston’s offense. Many of the Celtics’ points now came when Russell plucked a defensive rebound and fired an outlet pass to Bob Cousy, who would start Boston’s vaunted and deadly fast break.
The dynasty was beginning to establish itself under Red Auerbach, and “Boston Celtics” and “NBA champions” became practically synonymous as the decade progressed. The team was multitalented, with many great players, but the enduring image was that of Russell, his head thrust forward from the slight hunch of his shoulders, his eyes scanning the court, his long left arm snaking out to deflect a shot. Boston won the title again in 1960-61, and Russell was named NBA Most Valuable Player, the first of his three consecutive MVP Awards.
The next season, 1961-62, saw Russell register an 18.9 scoring average, his career high. Chamberlain’s individual accomplishments were mind-boggling: he won the scoring title by averaging 50.4 points while the team-oriented Celtics didn’t place anybody in the top 10. The NBA players, voting for MVP, chose Russell over Chamberlain.
The Celtics added another future Hall of Famer, John Havlicek, in the 1962 NBA Draft and lost Bob Cousy to retirement at the end of the 1962-63 season. In what had become an annual routine, Boston won its fifth consecutive NBA title in 1963, and Russell claimed his third consecutive MVP Award.
Russell’s lack of consistent success in other endeavors hasn’t diminished his place in basketball history, and he has had no shortage of postcareer honors over the years. In 1970, he was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1974, Russell was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1980, he was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary All-Time Team. That same year, he was voted Greatest Player in the History of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America.
“Being that Bill is a 14 in shoe sizes and we carry 3 lengths past his size, we carry up to a 17 in length for men and for women we carry up to 15 in length. I don’t know Bill width but if he needs a wider width, “Extra Wide Shoes’ or “Wide Wide Shoes” then we have that for him as well being that we carry up to 14E width and that is women’s as well.
We have the best athletic, casual, dressy designs, walking styles of men’s and women’s in the Therapeutic/Comfort line of shoes in the country. We have the length and the widths and where proud of our designs and construction in the world of “Women’s Wide Shoes” Any person that needs a proper fitting width needs to know that the shoes need an extension on the sole of the shoe to properly house their foot with no hangover with their feet to the shoe. What is meant that every width, with us (in a good percentage of our shoes), have two widths wider at the outsole of the shoe. So if you need a 6E width, we’ll have an 8E bottom for the base of that width. So again no hangover for your feet and a perfect base for your feet to have all the support and balance that is needed.
A Comfort shoe is usually not a Therapeutic shoe and a Comfort shoe usually has very little midsection support. The lack of the Mid Section support allows your feet to be moving forward and lateral at the same time. These two movements add a great deal more wear and tear on your feet. If you need a view of all our styles, please go to our site dtfootwear.com
Now beside us having up to 9E, 10E and 14E in women’s and men’s styles of fashion Therapeutic/Comfort footwear; we have a FREE GIFT to you, with every purchase of shoes, we will give you up to 3 sets of Customized Heat Moldable Inserts that will give more support, added balance and stability in your everyday wearing of the shoe.
We, at DTF, have a deep concern for diabetics and their need for properly fitted footwear. We can provide “wide widths” – 4A to 14E – in both men’s and women’s footwear, and we can help those who have difficulty finding “over sizes” – 11 to 17 in length. We, also, can provide footwear in “under sizes” – 4 to 6 in length. In addition to being capable of providing these wide widths in fashionable styles of Therapeutic/Comfort footwear; we are offering a FREE GIFT (as shown above) to you! With every pair of shoes purchased, we will include up to (3) sets of Customized Heat Moldable Inserts that will provide even more support, added balance and stability every time you wear your shoes.
I hope that this blog has provided you with enough information to help you understand how we can help you. In conclusion, if you are having problems with your feet please do not hesitate to call me on my cell phone 909-215-1622. I am often on the phone or in a meeting, so please leave a message and I will return your call at my earliest opportunity!
We have a saying, in our company, “try us and you’ll have the experience of walking on a pillow, all day long, with more added support and more room and balance that you have ever had in any of your shoes before.” Guaranteed!
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