“Boston Celtics really got Bill Russell in exchange for the Ice Capades?”: How Red Auerbach orchestrated the most lopsided deal in league history to help win 11 rings and more
|Published October 04, 2021
Trades have a remarkable impact on franchises in any sport but this Bill Russell trade changed the entire NBA as we see it today
Trades lead to the biggest “what ifs” in sports. Its effect on the NBA hasn’t been different, imagine if Kobe Bryant was playing for Charlotte Hornets, would the Lakers have those 5 Championships?
Or if Scottie Pippen was with the Seattle Supersonics or the New York Knicks, would Jordan have those 6 rings? Would Ewing be considered GOAT instead?
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None of those would have altered a franchise’s existence as this trade did for the Boston Celtics.
Bill Russell could have ended up playing for Sacramento Kings or the Atlanta Hawks
The Boston Celtics are one of the two best franchises in the NBA and Bill Russell is the guy responsible. Bill led them to 11 banners (Championships) out of their 17. But he could easily have been playing in an NBA franchise not named the Boston Celtics.
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Imagine the NBA with Kings having those 11 championships or it could even have been the Atlanta Hawks. It would have been a totally different world.
The 5-time MVP was going to be the 1st overall pick in the 1956 draft, Boston Celtics had the 7th overall pick. The first pick was with the then “Rochester Royals”, the Sacramento Kings.
Royals traded Bill Russell to the Boston Celtics for Ice Capades
Boston sent its 7th pick to the St. Louis Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks) – along with Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan, for the 2nd pick.
The owner of the Celtics, Walter Brown, was also the president of the Ice Capades. He called up the owner of the Royals– Lee Harrison — with the following offer:-
Brown would send the Ice Capades to Rochester for one week if the Royals would pass on Russell.
Harrison agreed and with the first overall choice in the 1956 draft, the Royals selected Si Green, a guard from Duquesne.
Also read: “Shaq and Kareem? I Would Kick Your A**”: When Bill Russell hilariously trash talked 5 Hall Of Fame NBA centers at 2017 NBA awards show
Yikes!! That was one big daylight robbery.
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