What is the ultimate goal in every sport?Winning and being the best at it. The indescribable feeling you get when you or your team is crowned victorious after the final buzzer. Everybody wants to reign supreme in whatever it is that they do. Then there are some who are okay with watching others reign above them as they believe they don’t deserve to be put on a pedestal, they are just happy to be a part of the sport. Sometimes, there are athletes who have been overrated and given luxuries in which they do not deserve. For example, Jerry West’s silhouette has been the NBA logo for almost 50 years not and some believe he never deserved that type of acknowledgement. Now, Jerry is a top 50 player ever to play the sport of Basketball although he does not deserve to be the face of the NBA. The funny part about that is even he knows he is undeserving.
Jerry West went on ESPN’s The Jump and discussed the status of the NBA logo. He believes the NBA should change it and that they should be embarrassed by the fact that they have his silhouette as the logo and that they should change it, via ESPN:
“Again, it’s flattering. But if I were the NBA I would be embarrassed about it. I really would. I don’t like to do anything to call attention to myself, and when people say that, it’s just not who I am, period. If they would want to change it, I wish they would. In many ways I wish they would.”
It is obvious Jerry understands there are several players in NBA history with a better resume than him, making them more deserving of the privilege. But who is ultimately the most deserving? Most would say the Jump-man Michael Jordan as he is deemed the G.O.A.T. winning 6 out of 6 NBA Finals, leading ’96 Bulls to a 72-10 in a season, winning shelves and shelves worth of trophies throughout his career or Dr. J because of how changed the way the game was played, he added flair to everything and was a class act his entire career. Although I would have to disagree. There is one player in NBA history that has helped expand the game and is more the epitome of winning than any other player. Bill Russell. Bill has won 11 championships in 13 appearances. 9 of those rings came as a player while the final 2 he won came as a player-coach (he was the first African-American head coach in NBA history).Bill completely dominated his era of the NBA and he did it without being a high-octane scorer. He is known as one of the best players to ever play by his defense (specifically his shot blocking) and rebounding dominance. Bill averaged a whopping 22.5 rpg which player’s usually hope to average in points per game throughout their career. To achieve the rebounding numbers Bill has throughout his career you have to be the epitome of the type of player that any coach would love to have on their team. Some would say he is arguably the best shot blocker as well regardless of Hakeem Olajuwon holding that crown statistically. It was never about scoring to Russell but more about doing whatever the team needed him to do. He became the first African-American player to reach superstar status and he did it with emphatic defense rather than with elite scoring like a stereotypical superstar would. There is a reason why the NBA named the trophy given to the Final’s MVP after him. The way Bill has influenced the game of basketball is something old fans will never forget and new fans will come to learn about when researching the roots of the game and how it grew to be what it is today. Bill Russell is one of the roots that helped the NBA family tree grow into what it is today and what it will be in the future.