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Thread: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

  1. #1
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    Cool NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

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    The Finals MVP to Receive Bill Russell MVP Award By NBA Official Release


    Posted Feb 14 2009 7:42PM

    PHOENIX -- Bill Russell, the cornerstone of a Boston Celtics team that won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, including a record eight straight titles, will be permanently honored by having The Finals Most Valuable Player Trophy named for him, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today.









    "Who better to name this prestigious award for than one of the greatest players of all time and the ultimate champion," said Stern. "Bill inspired a generation not just of basketball fans but Americans everywhere. He is respected by colleagues, coaches, fans, and his legacy clearly has withstood the test of time."
    The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award will be presented at the conclusion of The Finals. Select writers and broadcasters who cover the series will determine the MVP.


    Russell anchored a Celtics team that became synonymous with NBA championships during the 1960s. As a rookie center, he helped the Celtics earn their first NBA title in 1957, defeating the St. Louis Hawks in seven games. It was the first of 10 straight Finals appearances for Boston, including eight straight titles from 1959-1966. Following the 1966 championship season, Head Coach Red Auerbach retired and Russell took over as player-coach, becoming the NBA's first African-American coach. After failing in 1967 to make The Finals for the first time since 1956, Russell guided the Celtics to consecutive titles in 1968 and 1969. Russell would win 11 NBA Championships throughout his career as a player and coach.


    The 1969 Finals between the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers was the first time a Most Valuable Player trophy was awarded, with the Lakers' Jerry West the first recipient -- the first and only time the MVP Award has gone to a member of the losing team.


    Russell earned five Most Valuable Player Awards during his career. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975 and was named the "Greatest Player in the History of the NBA" by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America in 1980. In 1996, Russell was honored as "One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History" during the All-Star Game in Cleveland.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    I'm all for naming every award after former players.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Tyrant maragin's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    This seems appropriate. Russell was incredible.

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    Funk Seoul Brother Frostwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    I like this.

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Good move
    ...Still "flying casual"
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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Very, very good move.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    it's very appropriate considering the guy should have at least 8 or 9 finals MVPs. It's a shame the ONE chance he had to win one, they gave it to a guy on the losing team.

    I would not at all be opposed to the NBA hiring a committee to go back pre-1969 and hand out finals MVPs for every title.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
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    soul brother #1 BKK's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    that's a great move

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    The Dude Abides MrSparko's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    This I like.
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    How does Russell have 5 MVPs, but only 3 NBA first teams? That doesn't make sense.

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    Our hero! GrangerRanger's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    How does Russell have 5 MVPs, but only 3 NBA first teams? That doesn't make sense.
    Wilt.

    (I think it was a snub in 62', but I'm not sure they had a First team, second team, and third team when he won in 1958.)
    Last edited by GrangerRanger; 02-15-2009 at 01:17 PM.

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangerRanger View Post
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    Wilt.

    (I think it was a snub in 62', but I'm not sure they had a First team, second team, and third team when he won in 1958.)
    I know who took his spot, but it doesn't make sense for the MVP to not be on the first team.

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Wilt was the better player, head to head.

    Russell had a better overall team that won most of the playoff matchups.

    The Wilt vs. Russell debate isn't about which player was better... that's a no brainer.

    The debate is "which would you rather have, the best player in the history of basketball or the guy who leads a better team to defeat him?"

    If you put Wilt with the rest of that Celtics team, and Russell on the Warriors/ Sixers, then Russell becomes an afterthought. Like Walt Bellamy, who put up similar stats to Russell but had no supporting cast.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Bill Russell was far more than a great player. He was also the first African American head coach in any major sport. And he did that while ALSO busting his butt on the court.

    I highly recommend everyone watch the episode of Iconoclasts featuring Bill Russell and Samuel L. Jackson. It's a great hour of conversation, second only to the Eddie Vedder/Laird Hamilton one, IMHO.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    I have never seen either play - so I have no idea. But I like Russell much more just because he seemed like a nicer guy and abtter person. Wilt to me seemed like a jerk

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Russell was not a nice guy to anybody outside of his inner circle for half a century.

    Wilt was portrayed as a jerk, because as he put it, "nobody roots for goliath." It was perceived he was a jerk just like it was perceived Russell was a nice guy because he so often played the role of "David."

    Yes, Russell looks like the man of the people celebrating his 75th birthday at halftime of the all-star game, but he has had the luxury of time to work on his lasting image. Wilt had no such luxury.
    Last edited by Kstat; 02-16-2009 at 03:30 PM.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
    Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
    NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    Like Walt Bellamy, who put up similar stats to Russell but had no supporting cast.
    I am assuming you are exaggerating for effect.

    There's not really an adequate stat for defense, and Russell affected the entire offensive philosophy of the opposing team to a greater extent than anyone ever. Also, 23 rebounds doesn't seem all that similar to 14 rebounds to me.

    I'd agree that Wilt was the better all-around player and would have had more rings with a better cast.

    But the difference between Wilt and Russell is much smaller than the difference between Russell and Bellamy. No knock on Walt- he's a HOF-er and often overlooked, but he's not up in Bill's neighborhood.

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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Yeah, there is some exaggeration, but if you swapped Wilt's and Russell's teammates, Wilt would still be the most dominant player of all time, and have a bazillion rings. Russell would be remembered much differently than he's remembered today.

    I give Russell credit - he was no match individually for Wilt so he focused on team, vs. individual accomplishments. (Thus, defense.) And that was a novel idea at the time - especially for a professional athlete (of any race.)
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA Finals MVP Award Renamed....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Russell was not a nice guy to anybody outside of his inner circle for half a century.

    Wilt was portrayed as a jerk, because as he put it, "nobody roots for goliath." It was perceived he was a jerk just like it was perceived Russell was a nice guy because he so often played the role of "David."

    Yes, Russell looks like the man of the people celebrating his 75th birthday at halftime of the all-star game, but he has had the luxury of time to work on his lasting image. Wilt had no such luxury.
    Agreed. Russell has an ego the size of the old Boston Gardens arena. He's had more success than any player in the NBA - and he'll never let you forget it either!

    I don't mean that to be disrespectful. I respect him as a player and what he accomplished. He earned the respect and admiration of his teammates when it wasn't popular to call a black man a "leader" of a team so he had to have some great qualities.

    I just think that after his playing games were through he went through a period where he felt like every big guy wasn't close to being as good as him. This was evident when he came back and coached for a brief period of time in the late 80's and even today he looks down on a lot of the players of today unneccessarily.

    I don't think that Wilt was a great guy or anything but I don't think he had this same type of ego. Away from basketball he seemed more down to earth and had a good sense of humor.
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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