Bill Russell takes to Twitter to casually let NBA fans in on the fact that he was number 2 in the US and number 17 worldwide in high jump.
When thinking of the most athletic players to have graced NBA hardwood, it’s real unfortunate that our mind doesn’t gravitate towards Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain immediately. Instead, we tend to have guys like Vince Carter and Zach Lavine pop up in our heads before pioneers like the aforementioned legends.
There, of course, is nothing wrong with having modern day players at the tip of your tongue when answering questions like, ‘Who’s the most athletic player in league?’. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, at the time, Bill Russell and Wilt were two of the most unique specimens of their time.
Nowadays, quite nearly half of the players in the NBA can windmill at the bare minimum. Legends like ‘The Secretary of Defense’ and ‘The Big Dipper’ were the first of their kind, dominating the league for well over a decade.
Bill Russell flexes his high jump world ranking on Twitter.
Seeing black and white images from the ‘50s that showcase just how talented and athletic guys like Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor were, are truly marvelous. There are several photos from over 60 years ago that show Russell jumping over his opponents in the paint for a nifty layup.
Recently, a fan posted an image on Twitter of Bill Russell leaping darn near two feet in the air to grab a rebound. The Celtics legend himself replied to that tweet by saying, “Don’t forget, I was #2 in the US and #17 in the world in high jump, this is nothing.”
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) September 15, 2021
It’s always great to see a legend like Bill nonchalantly address something as incredible as that image. He’s addressed his insane leaping in the past, saying, “In ‘56, I could have made the Olympics in high jump but turned it down to play basketball instead. Track and field news ranked me #17 in the world for high jump and #2 in the US.”