In a tribute to Bill Russell, the NBA TV channel just showed the final championship game in '63 in LA between the Lakers and the Celtics.
The Celtics won a very close game at the end, 112-109. Tommy Heinsohn hit 4 of 5 foul shots to ice the game in the final minute.
Russell, of course, was dominant--rebounding and blocking shots. I counted 3 blocked shots in the 2nd period alone.
Checking my Celtics history book, Russ had 24 rebounds and 9 assists, 12 points. He probably blocked about 6 or 7 shots in the game.
I lived through those games as a kid in that era, dating back to the early 1950s, before Russell. Sharman was the only 50s guy missing in '63.
The Lakers in those days had Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Both great players.
The Celtics in '63 were a composite of two great championship teams-- the 50s represented by Cousy, Heinsohn, Ramsay and Russell,
and the 60s represented by Havlicek, Sanders, KC Jones, Sam Jones--and Russell. Russell was the common glue between the two era teams.
Every one of these guys in both eras was a great player. I saw them all play. Those were great times for Celtics fans.
In this very tight game, Cousy sprained his ankle in the 3rd period, and had to be helped off the court.
Everyone knew Cousy was retiring and this might be his last game, and the LA crowd gave him a standing ovation. A great tribute to Cousy and the LA fans.
It shows you how great a player Cousy was regarded around the league at that time.
Such great Celtics memories.