We’ve said before that the most amazing thing that Bill Russell accomplished in his insanely successful career was to win the last game every year from his junior year at San Francisco until his final season with the Boston Celtics, including the Olympics, except for twice.
The first time was in 1958, when he was injured. The second time?
It was in 1967, when Wilt Chamberlain, back in Philadelphia with the 76ers after moving west with the Warriors, beat Boston before moving on to beat his old team for the championship.
It’s an incredible accomplishment - well, two. First, the unbelievable desire to win that Bill Russell translated into back-to-back NCAA championships, Olympic gold, and 11 NBA titles in 13 years.
And second, that Philadelphia broke the string.
Of course having Chamberlain was a big deal. Even 48 years after his retirement, there has never been anyone who has come close to his combination of size, strength and stunning athleticism.
This is the second half of Game 4 of that series. Boston won this one, which was the only game they won in this series, as they lost 4-1.
It wouldn’t happen again. An aging Russell, who had become player-coach in 1966-67, rallied his team to win two more championships before retiring. Chamberlain got one more with the Lakers in 1972.