HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #4 Bill Russell

  The resume won’t do Bill justice, many of the accolades we lean on today simply weren’t available during Russell’s run. We can safely assume he would have 10+ All-NBA Defense honours had they been distributed in his day. He’d undoubtedly own multiple Defensive Player of the Year Awards and I think it’s also safe to say he’d own a few of his namesakes (The Finals MVP award). Accolades be damned, nobody collected the hardware Bill Russell did. Say what you want about the league he played in, the horrid efficiency, his stacked teams, or any other deterrents you can think of, winners win. It’s hard to rank Russell, clearly, three voters had him in the top two, and three voters had him outside the top 10. You see the confusion in pub discussion, message boards, and on social media. Some see the 11 rings and high regard his teammates had for him, enamoured with his ultimate winner status they place him up top. Others have shamelessly claimed he’d be Ben Wallace in this generation, that’s a tad bonkers. No offense to Big Ben. At the end of the day, we know Russell bested the leagues top talent again and again. He did everything asked of him as a leader and player, if you were a Celtics fan what more could you ask for? Russell delivered. The Resume: Second Overall Pick 1956 – St. Louis Hawks 12x All-Star 11x All-NBA 1x All-NBA Defense All-Star MVP 5x MVP 11x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Jacob Noble, Justin Termine, and Marc Griffin (2). The... read more

Top 10 Best Contracts Signed in the NBA Off Season- An Ode to the Spurs

  With the new television money one year in the NBA, there’s been plenty of money spent this past offseason.  Finding bargains can actually be tougher because of how quickly salary inflation can outpace the cap expansion.  This year, more than ever, organizational stature mattered bigger than any other factor, including money.  Show a free agent the ability to be a consistently winning franchise, and money in some cases became incidental.  Plus, being the San Antonio Spurs didn’t hurt much either.  In reverse order, Letterman style, here’s the top 10 best contracts signed this offseason. 10)  Mo Williams (Cleveland) 2 years at $4.3 million.  For all the roster moves the Cavaliers made during last season, they never addressed the glaring need of having a backup lead guard behind the often injured Kyrie Irving.  This bit the Cavs in the backside in the NBA finals where the entire offensive burden was on Lebron James from initiating the offense to setting other guys up to scoring himself.  Williams helps in each of those areas.  He made a good contribution last season as a bench player for both Minnesota and Charlotte.  Plus, he has a successful track record playing with James.  Even though Cleveland’s Prokhorovian luxury tax bill will make this more expensive, getting Williams for this cheap price makes guaranteeing the 2nd year more than worth it.  Like many other guys on this list, Williams is putting a premium on competing for a title. 9)  Bismack Biyombo (Toronto) 2 years at $5.7 million.  The Raptors have put a lot of stock in starting center Jonas Valanciunas’ ability to defend.  Valanciunas has... read more

About Hoops Critic

Brian Geltzeiler’s true passion is the NBA. He grew up in a basketball family. His father, Burt was an elite college basketball player for Newark-Rutgers University in the late 1940’s and was drafted by the Tri-City Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks) in 1950 by their then GM, Red Auerbach.

Brian is a regular host on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio and gets his money’s worth from his NBA League Pass. He lives in Livingston, NJ with his wife and four children.