The first ever NBA Awards took place last night in New York City and a good time appeared to be had by all. Yes, there were snubs and disagreements with the composition of some of the teams (most notably Avery Bradley). The great Bill Russell made every bit of that irrelevant when the time came for him to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was all set up perfectly. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league’s all-time leading scorer, presented Russell with his award. He was accompanied by fellow centers Dikembe Mutombo, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson and Alonzo Mourning.
Upon arriving on the stage he greets each one of them and then promptly sizes them up and tells them what he would’ve done to them. It looks like Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Walton and Patrick Ewing were the only ones who were exempt from this would be whooping . . . because they weren’t there. When you’re 83 years old and have won 11 rings you can say and do whatever you want.
People have countered with the fact that Russell played in a different era and that Russell was smaller than all of these other big men. That’s beside the point. It was a hilarious moment and it was great to see and hopefully there will be more. No need to go overboard by reading way too much into it.