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Old 02-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #181
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

For a guy to have his eyes ABOVE the rim means having your scalp about 7 inches above the 10 foot rim... and if you are 6'9" while doing so we are looking at around a 46" inch vertical.... didnt know Russell was that kindof an athlete lol
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:01 PM   #182
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

I realize that the burden of proof is a bit hard on those that believe Russell in this case because there's little video of anything that went on in the earlier eras of the NBA, but I have to cautiously side with the other side.

There's just too much room for doubt in a case where the main evidence comes from Russell himself. I can easily see him exaggerating (even if its only slightly) and that puts the entire statement at doubt.

It's not that I think athletes now are universally better than athletes then, or that I doubt Russell's own athletic prowess. In fact, I think the great athletes of today are no better than those of Russell's era (though I might lean towards saying the league is more deep athletically i.e. the 12th man now is more athletic than the 12th man then). And with all the incentive to demonstrate this ability today, and all forms of social media to capture and advertise it, no one has done it.

Extrapolating from Russell's height and vert and standing reach is enough to say it MAY have been possible for him to do it, but it doesn't prove anything. That's asking for too much faith on my part, and I just can't make that leap without more evidence from a non-biased source than can explain where and how they got the information and how it's accurate. Any old article won't cut it. And a statement from Russell or other old-timers isn't sufficient for me either.


inb4 Someone posts CavsFan's gif of Russell jumping over that dude. That's raw, but it doesn't prove his claim here.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:42 PM   #183
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

If he was the 7th best high jumper in the world then why is that so hard to believe? Contrary to popular belief the best jumpers in the world are, who would've thought, high jumpers and not NBA or And1 players.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #184
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floppy
If he was the 7th best high jumper in the world then why is that so hard to believe? Contrary to popular belief the best jumpers in the world are, who would've thought, high jumpers and not NBA or And1 players.

Does anyone know how closely the high jump and vertical leap are related? Clearly the high jump requires a much finer technique and mastery of mechanics to pull off than a simple vertical.

I'm sure there's a general trend (i.e. they both fall and rise together), but how much statistical predictive power does the high jump have on the vertical, and vice versa?

It doesn't strike me as obvious that because Russell could high jump that he could touch the backboard or get his eyes above the rim.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #185
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djahjaga
Does anyone know how closely the high jump and vertical leap are related? Clearly the high jump requires a much finer technique and mastery of mechanics to pull off than a simple vertical.

I'm sure there's a general trend (i.e. they both fall and rise together), but how much statistical predictive power does the high jump have on the vertical, and vice versa?

It doesn't strike me as obvious that because Russell could high jump that he could touch the backboard or get his eyes above the rim.
Bill Russell had awful technique though, he got by on raw athleticism and tied the Gold Medalist of the 1956 Olympics in a summer meet in the months coming up to the Olympics. Bill Russell was literally world class with his athleticism - we're not talking about above average - we're talking a top 10 World Class leaper on the planet in his day. His 6-9 and 1/4" PR (again on crude raw athleticism with terrible jumping form) would have been good enough to tie for a Bronze Medal in the Olympic field that year. He was expected to clear 7 feet if he'd worked at it as his discipline - IE match the world record. In the pre-fosbury flop days those numbers are huge.

Last edited by CavaliersFTW : 02-24-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:23 PM   #186
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

Quote:
Originally Posted by CavaliersFTW
Bill Russell had awful technique though, he got by on raw athleticism and tied the Gold Medalist of the 1956 Olympics in a summer meet in the months coming up to the Olympics. Bill Russell was literally world class with his athleticism - we're not talking about above average - we're talking a top 10 World Class leaper on the planet in his day. His 6-9 and 1/4" PR (again on crude raw athleticism with terrible jumping form) would have been good enough to tie for a Bronze Medal in the Olympic field that year. He was expected to clear 7 feet if he'd worked at it as his discipline - IE match the world record. In the pre-fosbury flop days those numbers are huge.

Bad technique or not, it seems to me it requires a different kind of skill than just pure, upward vertical. You need to be agile and able to contort your body, even if your technique blows. These are things I couldn't imagine doing even at the tamest of heights, and Russell was clearly naturally talented at these at least to a degree.

I do understand your point about the Fosbury Flop, so I won't make you repeat that for the trillionth time haha I feel like people are just skipping over that...
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #187
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

This is simply another case of people exaggerating the talents of legends from the past. They want their heroes to seem like mythical figures, so they believe a bunch of ridiculous claims about them.

It's no different than people saying little 135 pound Bruce Lee would destroy Muhammad Ali and saying he is so fast that he could snatch a quarter from somebody's open palm and leave a penny behind. It's all fantasy to make their heroes seem like super heroes.

It's all non-sense.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:47 PM   #188
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
For a guy to have his eyes ABOVE the rim means having your scalp about 7 inches above the 10 foot rim... and if you are 6'9" while doing so we are looking at around a 46" inch vertical.... didnt know Russell was that kindof an athlete lol

I was about to note that Russell was a bit taller when he played in the NBA (6'10" stockings height is a number I've seen cited a lot, so he'd be closer to 6'11" effective playing height), though in 'Second Wind' he notes that he first looked down on the rim earlier on in his playing days (I forget if it was during high school, his time with that traveling all-star team after graduating, or early in college). I'm not sure if he'd need his scalp to be 7 inches above the rim, since he didn't necessarily have to be looking down at the basket, just slightly above eye level with the rim, which means he probably only needed his scalp to clear by around 3-4 inches (or maybe I'm wrong...again it depends how big his head is, maybe someone can find a good photo to ascertain this). I think it's safe to say he was without question over 40", but 46" (while it wouldn't shock me) is probably a tiny bit high IMO.

Of course, I'm sure CavsFTW will have some great highlights in his new video which will help us get a better idea of where he stood. Either way, it's nice to have discussions of Russ on this board.

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Old 02-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #189
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Default Re: Bill Russell Vertical Leap

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-f_gVh9h9Q

1:08 mark

"My vertical was I could get my eyes above the rim. When I jumped up straight I could get my eyes above the rim & I could touch the top of the backboard."
I can get my eyes above the rim too, without jumping. What I do is, just look at the top of the backboard, and my eyes are over the level of the rim.
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