NBA - Pourquoi Bill Russell vient d'accepter sa bague du Hall of Fame... 44 ans après

“Bill Russell is the GOAT, not Michael Jordan”

When you think of the GOAT in the NBA, two names immediately come to mind: Michael Jordan and LeBron James. We can also add Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant in the discussion. But for an NBA champion, be careful not to forget the great Bill Russell.

For several years now, and even more since the coronation of the Lakers in the bubble, the debate on the identity of the GOAT revolves around two legendary No. 23s: Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The first is the icon of the 1990s, the one who allowed the NBA to export itself to the world, the second reigns over the league for 20 years and represents the modern sportsman, since he is very politicized.

In fact, it would seem that the question today depends mainly on the age of the person being interviewed and their degree of interest in the sport and its history. A few days ago, Chelsea striker Timo Werner, a punctual observer, readily acknowledged that the King was the GOATsince he never had the chance to see His Airness evolve live.

But if the debate revolves around two players, it is not totally binary… The proof, the former NBA champion and All-Star Metta World Peace had offered a rather surprising (and rare) answer during a passage in boxer “King” Ryan Garcia’s podcast a few months ago. For him, the GOAT of basketball did indeed wear a green jersey, that of the Celtics!

Metta World Peace : I think Bill Russell is the GOAT, honestly. Bill has 11 titles to his name. Michael Jordan is one of the best players of all time, but Bill Russell is the best. What matters is winning in your time. And no one has ever dominated his era like him, not even Michael Jordan.

The key word in this argument is obviously “your time”. It is true that with 11 titles in 13 seasons, Bill Russell has achieved the impossible and the unthinkable in his career. But the competition was not necessarily the same… What is very strange, on the other hand, is that MWP had made very different comments after the coronation of the Lakers in the bubble, in 2020. A quick reminder:

LeBron James is the GOAT… I never thought to put him above my brother at No. 24 Kobe or my favorite player Michael Jordan, I was All-Star wearing his number. But the King is the greatest athlete in this galaxy. He’s even better than the aliens.

Forever legend of the orange ball, Bill Russell actually has good arguments in his favor but he seems far from Michael Jordan and LeBron James in the collective imagination. Metta World Peace is in the minority in this debate.

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