Originally Posted by SamuraiSWISH
Excuses. Those other guys faced elite teams and players in their own conference.
Excuses? Those other guys didn't go up against a strong GOAT candidate and unanimous GOAT defender in Russell.
Here's his record each season:
1961 - misses playoffs
1962 - loses to Pistons
1963 - beats Nationals, loses to Celtics (Russell)
1964 - beats 76ers, loses to Celtics (Russell)
1965 - loses to 76ers (Wilt)
1966 - loses to Celtics (Russell)
1967 - loses to 76ers (Wilt)
1968 - misses playoffs
1969 - misses playoffs
1970 - misses playoffs
1971 - beats Warriors (Thurmond), beats Lakers (West+Wilt), beats Bullets (Unseld)
1972 - beats Warriors (Thurmond), loses to Lakers (West+Wilt)
1973 - loses to Warriors (Thurmond)
1974 - beats Lakers, beats Bulls, loses to Celtics (Havlicek+Cowens)
The bolded years were probably his prime seasons.