This biography chronicles the life of Bill Russell from his days as a youth in rural Louisiana, through his time as a basketball player and coach for the Celtics, to his enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame and in the American consciousness.
As a student of life and basketball, as a basketball player and coach, as an African-American, a businessman, a lecturer, and a man, Bill Russell projects the same single image of a man committed to understanding, improvement, and teamwork in the constant pursuit of new and ever-greater heights. And as his 2 NCAA titles, his Olympic gold medal, and his 11 NBA championships clearly show, the heights towards which Bill Russell most often strove were athletic, and in these athletic contests he was rarely to be denied. As a coach—the first black coach in NBA history—and general manager in his later days, Russell still maintained this same ability to utilize all of the resources available in order to construct a winning entity, and it is because of this very ability that he was later able to captivate lecture audiences from behind a podium. Bill Russell remains a compelling subject for anyone interested in the constitution and development of a champion.
This book also includes a thorough bibliography of print and electronic sources to aid further research. A timeline plots the key events in Russell's life and career.
Introduction Timeline of Events Early Years Life in Oakland The Road to College A Boston Celtic The 1960s Bill the Coach Bill in "Retirement" Senior Statesman and Lecturer Glossary Bibliography of Sources and References
Reviews "Bill Russell explors the career of the African-American basketball player who won two championships as a college player, 11 titles as a member of the Boston Celtics, and an Olympic gold medal. Nelson describes his career after retiring from the NBA, when he became a coach and a motivational speaker....In-depth time lines help students understand the significant contributions of the featured subjects....[a] valuable source for student reports."—MultiCultural Review
"Russell's career accomplishments on the basketball court continue to amaze. Always the ultimate team player, he held a record of two collegiate championships, one Olympic Gold Medal, and eleven professional championships (in 13 years as a Boston Celtic) that seems mythical. Russell's rebounding ability and defensive strategies changed the way basketball is played....[N]elson does convey Russell's dedication and work ethic, qualities that serve as a good contrast to those of many me-first flamboyant athletes who may have great individual statistics (but often no team championships). One can easily understand why in 1980 the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America voted Russell the greatest player in NBA history. Nelson's simple writing style makes this book most appropriate for younger readers. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice
"In 1966, Bill Russell, a five-time MVP with the Boston Celtics, took the helm of his team, becoming the first black coach in NBA history. Aimed at high school students, this concise biography presents highlights from Russell's life and career. Coverage includes Russell's upbringing in Louisiana; his years as a player and coach; and his views regarding events such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. The volume features a chronology and a glossary."—Reference & Research Book News