Jason Whitlock on Bill Russell being in the conversation for greatest NBA player ever: “I don’t have to bring Bill Russell in. I think there is a case for Jim Brown being the greatest football player of all time because he played in an era where there was no full integration, and it really wasn’t the highest level of competition in football. I say that about the Bill Russell era. There were just 9 teams and professional basketball was really in its incubation stage. I’m going to say this and it’s going to be taken out of context, but it’s like Ronda Rousey dominating UFC at the onset of women getting involved in the fight game. Looks great then, but check with me 30 years down the road when the sport has really evolved. I don’t have a problem removing Bill Russell.” (Full Video Above)
Despite Russell winning 11 NBA titles and 5 MVPs, Whitlock says Russell played during an era of the 50’s and 60’s where there were only 9 teams during most of those seasons. Arguing Michael Jordan’s era of the 80’s and 90’s versus the modern game is one thing, but Whitlock says comparing modern basketball to the 50’s and 60’s wouldn’t be fair legends who played legitimate competition in the 80’s, 90’s, 00's, and 10's.
Check out the video above as well as the full interview as Whitlock makes an argument for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the GOAT.