Originally Posted by Dragonyeuw
Yes but I'll assume the team would have figured out and made the necessary adjustments. The Celtics were built around what Russell brought to the table, swap him with Wilt and they'd have accommodated what he brought to the table instead.
But Auerbach went after Russell because he recognized that Russell already HAD what it took to win before he came to the Celtics. His mindset already matched Auerbach's that winning as team was more important than individual achievements. Chamberlain, as even his supporters acknowledge, had some growing up to do before he became a great teammate. If you check out that NBA Basketballography - Bill Russell link that was just posted on the forum, Russell's "need to win" was described as neurotic. Chamberlain used to say his life was richer than Russell's for this reason.
There's a good chance that Auerbach and Wilt would been fighting from day 1.