As arguably one of the most successful players to have ever played in the NBA, 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell is as respected a Hall of Famer as there is, and when he speaks everyone listens.
Recently, Russell was interviewed by John Hareas of NBA.com and talked about the upcoming season. The Boston Celtics legend was asked about all the changes in the league over the summer from the Celtics’ latest additions to the Miami Heat’s chances of repeating and Dwight Howard being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Russell responded to Hareas’ question about Howard’s impact playing in Los Angeles with the following via NBA.com:
“We’ll have to see. In Orlando, some of his skills went underused. Now, playing in L.A., with a different group and a different emphasis, how will they use his skills in order to win? With the addition of Steve Nash as well, the Lakers can be very, very good. It’s going to take them at least half a season — at least — before we know how good they can be.”
As the premier center during his era winning 11 championships in 13 seasons with the Celtics while competing against former Laker great Wilt Chamberlain, no player from the past has a better understanding of team chemistry and making things work on the basketball floor than Russell.
Along with imposing his will in the paint as five-time NBA MVP and being an absolute monster on the glass, averaging 22.5 rebounds per game for his career, Russell knows the center position better than most. Russell was also a brilliant coach and basketball mind as he led the Celtics to three titles as the player-coach in Boston after the retirement of Red Auerbach.
Needless to say, Russell knows his basketball and his opinion about the Lakers taking about half a season to come together or not reaching their potential until that time is right on the money. Also, the question about how the Lakers will use Howard is intriguing as that still remains to be seen.
There’s sure to be many more NBA legends expressing their opinions on the reloaded Lakers before and during the upcoming NBA season. A lot of former players and avid basketball fans are anxiously anticipating the start of the season to see how well arguably the most talented starting five in the league will play together.