Bill Russell: The only important statistic is the final score

Bill Russell joined the Celtics with the 1956-57 season already in progress, and soon led the league in average rebounds per game. With Russell on board, the Celtics easily made it to the NBA finals, facing off against the St. Louis Hawks. After six games, the tournament was deadlocked. In the decisive seventh game, Russell made one of the most famous plays in basketball history, the so-called “Coleman Play,” bounding with lightning speed from baseline to midcourt to block a shot by Hawks guard Jack Coleman. Russell’s teammate, Bob Cousy, remembered it as “the greatest physical act I’ve ever seen on a basketball floor.” The Celtics won the game 125 to 123, securing their first NBA Championship.