Author Topic: Scary: Bill Russell Could have Been A Laker  (Read 909 times)

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Scary: Bill Russell Could have Been A Laker
« on: October 26, 2020, 06:57:02 PM »

Online Roy H.

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With the Lakers having started their decline in 1954-55, Hartman maintained he had a deal in place to send Mikkelsen to Boston for three former Kentucky players who were serving in the armed forces that season: Cliff Hagan, Frank Ramsey and Lou Tsioropoulos. There was an important Part II to the plan: Hartman was certain that the Lakers without Mikkelsen or any of the Kentucky players available would have finished with the worst record, affording them the No. 1 draft pick. Hartman had already targeted University of San Francisco center Bill Russell as the man he wanted.

According to Hartman, Lakers radio play-by-play man Dick Enroth was a huge Mikkelsen fan and didn’t want to spend the 1954-55 season watching a last-place team. Enroth took Berger out to lunch and pleaded with him not to make the deal. Berger opted to hold on to Mikkelsen, and the rest is history. Russell was drafted by Boston and proceeded to lead the Celtics to 13 titles in 15 seasons.

That’s really interesting.  It proves that “tanking” isn’t just a modern consideration.  It also would have radically changed the direction of both franchises.  Instead of 17 vs. 17, we might be looking at 25+ Lakers championships, and maybe six or so for us.
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Re: Scary: Bill Russell Could have Been A Laker
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 07:34:05 PM »

Offline tenn_smoothie

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Sorry Roy - that is not easing my pain at all. I dreaded the possibility of the Lakers ever catching up to us and it now has come to pass.

FWIW, after Russ retired and moved out to LA, Jack Kent Cooke tried to lure him out of retirement to play for the Lakers.
Russell told him Thanks, but No Thanks, I will always be a Celtic (actually close to his exact words).
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Re: Scary: Bill Russell Could have Been A Laker
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 07:45:31 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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I'll say again, I don't understand people under the age of 50 or so feeling hung up on the title count issue.

Since 1980 the Celts have won 4 titles (81, 84, 86, 08) and have made the Finals but lost 3 other times (85, 87, 10).

In the same span the Lakers have won 11 titles (80, 82, 85, 87, 88, 99, 00, 01, 09, 10) and have made the Finals but lost 4 times (84, 91, 04, 08).

If you take the 80s out of it, it's far more lopsided.  Over the last three decades, there's just no contest.

The longer we insist on measuring our franchise against the Lakers, the worse this is going to get.  In the modern NBA the two franchises are just on different levels, for understandable reasons.  The only way to even this out would be for the Celts to get a Tim Duncan level player and have him on the roster for a couple decades while the Lakers run into absolutely ludicrous levels of misfortune.

The Celtics are still a very successful franchise when not measured against the one franchise in the entire league that has built-in a set of extreme advantages that virtually guarantee it will return to elite contender status over and over again.
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Re: Scary: Bill Russell Could have Been A Laker
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 10:16:04 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Glad the Basketball Gods said otherwise, here.

Since he retired from coaching in the 70s(?) Russell has presented the O'Brien Trophy to the Lakers what? 11 times now?

And BOS has won it 6 times (2-70s, 3-80s, and 2008).

To make matters WORSE my Atlanta Braves were beaten by YET ANOTHER LA team.

Yay.
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