Bill Rusell should not be put in the Pantheon of basketball.
He played in a time where the league only had eight teams. That is why I think putting him in top five is his consolation prize for winning 11 championships.
He was a really poor shooter, 44 percent from the field for a center is atrocious. The only thing he did great was rebounding ball.
Kareem, Dream, Wilt are all superior players. He shot over 45 percent only four times in his 13 year NBA career.
Being an great defender doesn't warrant him being in every top five all time list.
Right now he is being billed as a great person but people forget how Bill Russell once punched Ray Felix unconscious. Or how he refused to sign Heinsohn's cousin autograph because he didn't like the fact that Heinsohn was named Rookie of the Year in 1957.
He was only selected to All-NBA 1st team three times in his whole career and eight times to the All-NBA 2nd team.
For all the 11 times he won the NBA championship, he was never the best player on his team in the NBA finals. The only thing he did better than anybody else was rebound the ball.
But then again Dennis Rodman did that too when he used to play, that doesn't make him better than Michael or Scottie now does it?
Isn't it also amazing the first time the Finals MVP was introduced, it went to the best player on the opposing-losing team?
That is why i have a problem with people saying Bill Russell deserves top five nomination just because he was winner and rebounded the ball well. Not once was he considered the best center (or best player) in the league during his 13 year career.
Now let me ask you this question: How is it possible that a player can be considered a top five all time great when he wasn't even the best player in his era?