"I wouldn't trade you guys for any other guys in the world" - Revisiting late NBA icon Bill Russell's interview after winning his final title with the Boston Celtics

Julius Erving, left, and Bill Russell, right.
Julius Erving, left, and Bill Russell, right.

Touted as the greatest winner in American sports history, NBA legend Bill Russell passed away yesterday. Russell was aged 88, and in a statement released on his Twitter account, Russell passed away peacefully with his wife, Jeanine, by his side.

Russell's landmark achievements on the court included a record that may never be broken, with his Celtics winning 11 NBA titles in 13 years.

Off the court, Russell became a beacon for civil rights activism. His work fighting racial inequality is considered just as extraordinary, if not more, than his play on the court.

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After winning his 11th title with the Celtics, Russell was at a loss for words in the post-game interview. He conjured up heavy praise for his teammates, stating:

"Well this is such a great bunch of guys you know, and it's so faboulous the way they played for me, it sounds all corny to start talking like that but I told these guys before the game, 'I wouldn't trade you guys for any other guys in the world.'
"It's my guys, it's just my guys, these guys play basketball for me, and it's such a great bunch of guys, I can't say enough about these guys.

John Havlicek, who won six of his eight NBA titles with Russell's Celtics, joined for the interview, adding:

"Well, I'm telling you, everytime we come into this series, it's as if though it gets tougher and tougher each year and one of these days I'm going to be able to retire"

The 1969 NBA Finals was Russell's 11th and final title with the Celtics. The C's faced the Lakers in a seven-game series, concluding with a 108-106 win in Game 7 in California.

Bill Russell and the Celtics' dominance will never be matched

Bill Russell, and Red Auerbach, right.
Bill Russell, and Red Auerbach, right.

Only a few records seem unbreakable in the NBA. On that list are John Stockton's all-time assists record and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. However, on top of that list lies Bill Russell and his 11 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics.

In the modern NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most championships with multiple MVP awards, with 6 NBA titles and 5 MVPs. That number is minuscule when compared to Russell. The C's won 8 NBA titles consecutively from 1959-1966.

NBA fans can almost unquestioningly state that no team will ever be as dominant as the Boston Celtics during the early 1960s.

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Edited by Chad Marriott
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