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No. 6

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  February 13, 2011 08:12 AM

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One cold night long ago, This Blog and its father went to see the Celtics and Lakers play at the old Garden. It was so long ago that we walked up an hour before game time and bought loge seats to a game that included Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, John Havlicek, and the Jones boys.

And Bill Russell.

Memories grow dim, but, if This Blog recalls correctly, late in the game, with the game on the line, Russell blocked, in succession, a West layup and a Chamberlain dunk. It's still the best individual sequence of basketball This Blog ever saw, and This Blog saw Pete Maravich play.

There was a time in this country where some people ran and some people stood. Bill Russell stood. Always. Now, it looks like the president is going to give him a medal. Read the column, especially what he says about his father, and realize (again) what a blessing on this town was the presence of this brilliant, complicated, and vastly compelling human being. And build the damn statue already, OK?
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