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 Is Bill Russell Left-Handed?

Is Bill Russell Left-Handed

When compared to other sports like baseball or football, being a left-handed basketball player isn’t nearly as noticeable. Basketball action occurs so swiftly at times that most observers don’t instantly distinguish which hand a player is shooting with. This is more of a subtle oddity than anything else.

According to Stathead.com, left-handed people make up roughly 10% to 12% of the world’s population, but just 49 NBA players (9.1%) attempted at least one single shot last season. If you limit that number to players who have played 200 minutes or more, the proportion jumps to around 9.6%. (38-of-397).

Bill Russell, an amazing shot blocker who revolutionized NBA defensive tactics, was the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics dynasty in the 1960s. The angular center was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 12-time All-Star with 21,620 career rebounds, an average of 22.5 per game, and four times led the league in rebounding. He had fifty-one rebounds in a single game, forty-nine in others, and a dozen seasons with 1,000 rebounds or more.

Russell’s numerous individual honors were well-deserved, but they were just the result of his team-first mindset. In his thirteen seasons with the Celtics, his largest fulfillment becomes prevailing eleven titles. Russell was widely regarded as the best player in NBA history until Michael Jordan’s ascension in the 1980s.

 Is Bill Russell Left-Handed?

Is Bill Russell Left-Handed

William Felton Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 12, 1934. His family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Bill attended Oakland’s McClymonds High School. On McClymonds’ basketball team, he was an awkward, mediocre center, but his stature gained him a scholarship to play at the University of San Francisco, where he flourished.

Russell developed to a height of little over 6-foot-9, and he and guard K. C. Jones led the Dons to 56 straight victories and NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956 (although Jones incomprehensible four games of the 1956 tournament as a result of his eligibility had expired). Russell was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament in 1955.

Russell had a three-year varsity career where he averaged 20.7 points and 20.3 rebounds. By his senior year, he had developed into a formidable defensive force capable of controlling a game. Red Auerbach, the Boston Celtics’ coach, and general manager, was keen to add Russell to his roster as the NBA Draft approached in 1956. Auerbach had put together a high-scoring offense with guards Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman and small big Ed Macauley, but he couldn’t get the defense and rebounding he needed to turn the Celtics into a title contender. Russell, Auerbach believed, was the puzzle’s missing piece.

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The Celtics, however, would be choosing too late in the draught to grab Russell due to their second-place finish the previous season. Because Auerbach intended to utilize a territorial selection to grab Holy Cross great Tom Heinsohn, Boston would have to give up its first-round pick. So Auerbach began to consider a trade, and he targeted the St. Louis Hawks, who had the draft’s second overall choice.

The Rochester Royals held the first choice, but they already had a promising young rebounder in Maurice Stokes, and Auerbach knew that Royals owner Les Harrison would not pay Russell the $25,000 signing bonus he demanded. Sihugo Green, a guard who spent nine seasons in the league with five different clubs, was picked by the Rochester Red Wings (including, ironically, the Celtics in 1965-66).

Russell backed the American civil rights movement, spoke out against the Vietnam War, and did a lot of things that, if done by a weaker sportsman, would have sparked outrage right away. However, the Celtics continued to win, and he remained the driving force behind them. Surprisingly, his basketball brilliance made his acts not only acceptable to fans but also tolerable to the point of dismissiveness. His on-court accomplishments did not provide him with a platform; rather, they provided him with a peculiar kind of amnesty—the very excellence that should have made people pay attention strangely covered whatever problems he may have wished to cause.

Is Bill Russell Left-Handed

The Rochester Royals held the first choice, but they already had a promising young rebounder in Maurice Stokes, and Auerbach knew that Royals owner Les Harrison would not pay Russell the $25,000 signing bonus he demanded. Sihugo Green, a guard who spent nine seasons in the league with five different clubs, was picked by the Rochester Red Wings (including, ironically, the Celtics in 1965-66).

Russell didn’t join the Celtics until December because he was a member of the 1956 United States Olympic basketball team, which won gold in the Melbourne Games in November. The Celtics were off to a 13-3 start, and Russell acclimated fast when he arrived. He averaged 19.6 rebounds per game, the greatest in the league while scoring 14.7 points per game in 48 games.

Russell became the first black player in the NBA to gain superstar status, following in the footsteps of Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton. He is the first player in NBA history to be named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team, the NBA 35th Anniversary Team, and the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. In 2007, he was welcomed into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Russell also led the United States National Basketball Team to a gold medal in the 1956 Summer Olympics.

He is one of only seven NBA players to have won an NBA title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NCAA championship. He was a member of the educator Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and therefore the National collegial Basketball Hall of Fame. Russell also coached the Celtics from 1966 to 1969, becoming him the first black coach in professional sports in North America, as well as the first to win a title. The NBA changed the Most Valuable Player award of the NBA Finals to the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in Russell’s honor in 2009.

Russell won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the 1957-58 season. Surprisingly, he was only chosen to the NBA’s Second Team. Russell was only named to the All-NBA First Team twice in the five years he was named league MVP. While other centers were better than Russell in terms of conventional talents, no player mattered more to his team, according to the argument.

Russell was using his left hand to revolutionize the game in ways that were obvious, even if they weren’t measurable. It was amazing to see him abandon his guy and glide over to cover an opponent driving to the hoop. He was unrivaled in his ability to swoop across the lane like a hawk to block and modify shots. Knowing that Russell was lurking behind them, the rest of the Celtics defenders began to funnel their guys toward him and became bolder with their perimeter defense.

Russell was using his left hand to revolutionize the game in ways that were obvious, even if they weren’t measurable. It was amazing to see him abandon his guy and glide over to cover an opponent driving to the hoop. He was unrivaled in his ability to swoop across the lane like a hawk to block and modify shots. Knowing that Russell was lurking behind them, the rest of the Celtics defenders began to funnel their guys toward him and became bolder with their perimeter defense.

Now it’s time to return to the hardwood. Last season, lefty shooters attempted 18,856 shots and made 9,080 of them, for a field-goal percentage of 48.2 percent, according to BasketballReference.com. Righties made 79,771 of 171,801 tries, for a 46.4 percent success rate. Southpaws shot 46.5 percent from the field in the NBA’s previous five seasons (44,754 for 96,184; 88 total players), while their counterparts shot 46.0 percent (424,322 for 922,257; 865 players).

After making it to the NBA, it’s extremely unusual for a player to switch shooting hands. Tristan Thompson, a former left-handed shooter who made the pivot while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013 summer, is the most well-known example. Between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, Thompson’s free-throw percentage increased from 60.1 percent to a still-career-high 69.3 percent, despite the fact that jump shooting was never a big part of his game.

So, what, if any, conclusions can we make from this? Being a left-handed shooter appears to have a natural advantage in the NBA, as it pushes opposition defenders to closeout starting with the side they’re not used to. When it comes to ball-handling, driving, and passing, players with some cross-dominance undoubtedly have an edge over those who started up solely favoring one side.

However, in comparison to football, baseball, and maybe even hockey, being a left-handed shooter appears to have less of an impact on game strategy. Basketball games, like any sport, may come down to the tiniest of margins at times — inches, seconds, one possession, whatever – and even the tiniest of advantages can make all the difference. He will always be one kind of workshop for NBA players.

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