Originally Posted by DatAsh
Thanks for the links. I agree with your insights as well. I reckon it was, like you mentioned, a combination of the backlash from his racial statements, voter fatigue - much like what happened with Jordan - and Oscar's brilliant play in Cincinnati. What I find most striking is just how different the MVP voting was from the previous year. Russell came in third that year, despite having a better case for the award than he did the previous year.
The racial things you mentioned, and the ones mentioned in the pdfs you gave me, are the same ones I was referring to in the original post.
"Russell may now be paying the hidden tax, so to speak, for his Long-Live-Black-Muslims venture into Satevpost literature"
"Russell created considerable controversy by asserting there is a quota in the N.B.A. for Negro players. He also said a Negro player does not have to be as good as a white player, he must be better."
It's somewhat interesting to read opinions towards his statements at the time.
"It wasn't signed Felton X., of course, but it destroyed your illusion that Bill Russell could be counted among the clear-headed who will, in our time, lead us away from the wastelands of racial inequality and bigotry."
Hopefully we'll get some other opinions on the matter.
No one can tell what is in a man's heart. You can suggest that racism played a part, but I can't take it very seriously, since Big O was the MVP that season........................ now, Russell creating controversy and casting a bad light on the League? Sure, maybe.
This would be MVP level performance in any year:
ppg:31.4 - rpg:9.9 - apg:11.0 - fg%:48.3 - ft%:85.3
It was always amazing to watch Oscar play. I can remember many and many a 'dream shake' and 'shake and bake' and they came straight from that man's mind. Brand new moves that nobody had ever seen before, that left crowds gasping for days after the game.
He had some of the most amazing assists I've ever seen. Jerry Lucas was truly a force and teamed with Oscar they were a great team.
Oscar was an incredible talent, squandered by a league that had no free agency, had no trades except at the whim of the owners, no way for a player to move to a better chance for championships. When he finally forced a trade he and Lew Alcindor went to work and won a ring.
Let Oscar's legacy stand.