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Old 12-08-2012, 04:42 AM   #1
DatAsh
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Default Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

This was the season after Cousy retired. All eyes were on Russell to see just how much the Celtics would falter without their star PG. Not only did they not falter, they actually improved, going up by 1 win and .55 SRS. Their defense improved yet again, even though it was already at an unimaginably, almost otherworldly level to begin with(11.5 points better than league average, and 5.6 points better than the second best team).

He won it the previous three years, with seemingly lesser performances; what held him back in the eyes of the voters that year? I know there was the racial thing, but did that really have that great of an impact?

Last edited by DatAsh : 12-08-2012 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
fpliii
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Good question. I found some sources that might help you out:

http://www43.zippyshare.com/v/9833420/file.html

it appears it was likely a combination of factors (speculation that Russell might quit basketball based on his statements, his social writings/comments, Robertson allegedly having his 'finest year in the league [p]laying a superb all around game). From a quick glance, it looks like the common sentiment is that he was snubbed for All-Star MVP voting (though unlike the season MVP which was voted for by his peers in the other players, I *believe* the All-Star MVP was decided via a straw poll by media back then), partially due possibly to his outspoken nature, and the near-boycott of the game in hopes of getting the player pensions plan pushed through (it seems Russ was seen as a ringleader/instigator).

I could be completely off base though, and it could've just been an issue of voter fatigue on the part of the players.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpliii
Good question. I found some sources that might help you out:

http://www43.zippyshare.com/v/9833420/file.html

it appears it was likely a combination of factors (speculation that Russell might quit basketball based on his statements, his social writings/comments, Robertson allegedly having his 'finest year in the league [p]laying a superb all around game). From a quick glance, it looks like the common sentiment is that he was snubbed for All-Star MVP voting (though unlike the season MVP which was voted for by his peers in the other players, I *believe* the All-Star MVP was decided via a straw poll by media back then), partially due possibly to his outspoken nature, and the near-boycott of the game in hopes of getting the player pensions plan pushed through (it seems Russ was seen as a ringleader/instigator).

I could be completely off base though, and it could've just been an issue of voter fatigue on the part of the players.

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.

some exerpts

"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.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

I can't open that link that was referenced above from where I am, but from what I've read I definitely believe that it was a combination of Oscar having his best season in terms of stats AND wins as well as the backlash from Russell's social/ racial commentary. ThaRegul8r did a post on another forum some time ago listing several sources with people speaking of the negative effects of Russell's comments on his MVP chances that season.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
La Frescobaldi
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
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.

some exerpts

"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.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

You're asking this of a board who think the 90's are an ancient caliber of basketball.

Of a board filled with a majority of people who probably didn't even start watching ball until 2008.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
ThaRegul8r
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

I've written about this before, and I'll recap when I get back to my files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DatAsh
This was the season after Cousy retired. All eyes were on Russell to see just how much the Celtics would falter without their star PG. Not only did they not falter, they actually improved, going up by 1 win and .55 SRS. Their defense improved yet again, even though it was already at an unimaginably, almost otherworldly level to begin with(11.5 points better than league average, and 5.6 points better than the second best team).

Correct. The narrative going into the season was that we would find out who was more instrumental to the Celtics' success, as Cousy won nothing before Russell and six with Russell, but now Russell wouldn't have Cousy, so the focus would be on Russell to see if he could lead the team to another title without Cousy, and with Cincinnati having taken them the distance the previous year.

Then, the team did better without Cousy, with everyone acknowledging they were a better team, they beat out Cincinnati for the Division title, and then rolled through everyone in the postseason. Jerry West said in '69 I believe it was, that not only did the Celtics get better without Cousy, but the '64 Celtics were the greatest team he'd ever seen to that point in time. So, yes, with all that, it would be odd that not only did Russell not win MVP, but he finished a distant third, with that year's voting being a large deviation from the previous three years and the following year. But there's a story behind that, which I will elaborate on later.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by La Frescobaldi
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

Russell not winning MVP in '64 wasn't due to racism.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Because Oscar Robertson averaged a 31 point triple double (well, almost, 9.9 rebs, what a slacker) while carrying his team to the 2nd best record in the NBA (4 wins less than Russell).... and he had much less to work with around him than Russell.... The previous seasons Oscar had nowhere near that team success, if he had he would have snatched those MVPs from Russell aswell because lets face it, Russell had a much better supporting cast and produced overall worse than Oscar....

This one was very easy....

If you look back at all MVP winners in NBA history they had 2 things incommon:

1. They all had one of the 2-4 best team records in the NBA, team success is #1 MVP criteria, no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP, not even if that player averaged a 50 point quadruple double (its unfair i know, but clearly your performance HAS to translate to wins and if it doesnt, then you aint MVP)
2. They all were one of the top players in the NBA and best players in their teams, doh

MVP is then picked out of those teams (best player out of those teams), based on his productions and most importantly WHAT THE PLAYER HAD TO WORK WITH AROUND HIM compared to those other 2-3 candidates....

My point is that if you ever question some MVP seasons then try to think about this, you will find out that any player who ever won the MVP was always the correct choice...

Last edited by pauk : 12-09-2012 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:18 AM   #10
ThaRegul8r
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
If you look back at all MVP winners in NBA history they had 2 things incommon:

1. They all had one of the 2-4 best team records in the NBA, team success is #1 MVP criteria, no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP

This is factually untrue, which tends to invalidate the rest for me when a blatantly false statement is made which could easily have been looked up on basketball-reference for confirmation.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
This is factually untrue, which tends to invalidate the rest for me when a blatantly false statement is made which could easily have been looked up on basketball-reference for confirmation.

I unfortunately did research it long time ago, i love facts, dont worry...

Out of the 57 MVP winners, 55-56 won them having a top 1-4 team record, even those who won it having a 4th best team record were extremly few....

Only 1-2 players have actually won the MVP having worse team record than top 4 best, Michael Jordan 1987-88 (#5 best team record) and most notably Kareem Abdul Jabbar 1975-76 (#8 best team record).... I didnt count them because they were 1-2 very very very very rare MVP runs (especially Kareem)...

What Kareem did in 1975-76 and how the scenario panned out for him to win the MVP was once in a life time thing...

Im not even sure if i should talk about Michaels season as he was close enough to having the #4 best team record and we all know it shouldnt matter much in this very very rare specimens case that season, the league recognised his horrible supporting cast and recognised his ridicilous numbers/performance/impact (and possibly that he was maybe the best player in the NBA with or without the MVP).... he was only 3 wins away from having the #4 best team record anyways...

Kareem Abdul Jabbar won the MVP in 1975-76 having the #8 best team record.... this is what happened, out of the 18 teams in the NBA that season 13 teams were basically hovering around close to eachother / average winning percentages..... Kareem was only 2 wins away from climbing much higher on the best record list for example... so the record didnt matter much..... also he just like Jordan above was recognised for his ridicilous performance/impact based on what he had to work with around him... that was a rare exception and a lucky one, especially when considering those 2 top teams (and many others) that year didnt really have that much of a guy that clearly stoodout as the MVP for their specific teams, most teams were actually like that, stacked, playing team basketball.... Kareem was by far the best player in the league....

Except for those 1-2 rare but understandable and fully MVP deserving exceptions everything looks exactly like i said.....

Take a look:

2011-12 LeBron James Miami (#4 best team record)
2010-11 Derrick Rose Chicago (#1 best team record)
2009-10 LeBron James Cleveland (#1 best team record)
2008-09 LeBron James Cleveland (#1 best team record)
2007-08 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers (#3 best team record)
2006-07 Dirk Nowitzki Dallas (#1 best team record)
2005-06 Steve Nash Phoenix (#4 best team record)
2004-05 Steve Nash Phoenix (#1 best team record)
2003-04 Kevin Garnett Minnesota (#2 best team record)
2002-03 Tim Duncan San Antonio (#1 best team record)
2001-02 Tim Duncan San Antonio (#2 best team record)
2000-01 Allen Iverson Philadelphia (#2 best team record)
1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers (#1 best team record)
1998-99 Karl Malone Utah (#1 best team record)
1997-98 Michael Jordan Chicago (#1 best team record)
1996-97 Karl Malone Utah (#2 best team record)
1995-96 Michael Jordan Chicago (#1 best team record)
1994-95 David Robinson San Antonio (#1 best team record)
1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon Houston (#2 best team record)
1992-93 Charles Barkley Phoenix (#1 best team record)
1991-92 Michael Jordan Chicago (#1 best team record)
1990-91 Michael Jordan Chicago (#2 best team record)
1989-90 Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers (#1 best team record)
1988-89 Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers (#2 best team record)
1987-88 Michael Jordan Chicago (#5 best team record)
1986-87 Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers (#1 best team record)
1985-86 Larry Bird Boston (#1 best team record)
1984-85 Larry Bird Boston (#1 best team record)
1983-84 Larry Bird Boston (#1 best team record)
1982-83 Moses Malone Philadelphia (#1 best team record)
1981-82 Moses Malone Houston (#2 best team record)
1980-81 Julius Erving Philadelphia (#1 best team record)
1979-80 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles (#2 best team record)
1978-79 Moses Malone Houston (#4 best team record)
1977-78 Bill Walton Portland (#1 best team record)
1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles (#1 best team record)
1975-76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles (#8 best team record)
1974-75 Bob McAdoo Buffalo (#3 best team record)
1973-74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee (#1 best team record)
1972-73 Dave Cowens Boston (#1 best team record)
1971-72 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee (#2 best team record)
1970-71 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee (#1 best team record)
1969-70 Willis Reed New York (#1 best team record)
1968-69 Wes Unseld Baltimore (#1 best team record)
1967-68 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia (#1 best team record)
1966-67 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia (#1 best team record)
1965-66 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia (#1 best team record)
1964-65 Bill Russell Boston (#1 best team record)
1963-64 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati (#2 best team record)
1962-63 Bill Russell Boston (#1 best team record)
1961-62 Bill Russell Boston (#1 best team record)
1960-61 Bill Russell Boston (#1 best team record)
1959-60 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia (#2 best team record)
1958-59 Bob Pettit St. Louis (#2 best team record)
1957-58 Bill Russell Boston (#1 best team record)
1956-57 Bob Cousy Boston (#1 best team record)
1955-56 Bob Pettit St. Louis (#4 best team record)

49 out of 57 MVPs were handed out to players with the top 2 records in the NBA = 86%
6 out of 57 MVPs were handed out to players having the 3rd & 4th best records in the NBA = 10%
1 out of 57 MVPs was handed out to a player with 5th best record in the NBA = 2%
1 out of 57 MVPs was handed out to a player with 8th best record in the NBA = 2%

What does that tell you?

No my friend.... the chances for a player to win the MVP having a worse winning percentage than top 4 is close to impossible... unless you are the greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of shoes that just so happened to play with scrubs and still managed to get close to the 4th best team record (while also those top 4 teams didnt really have much of a player with a stronger MVP case than you considering how much more they had to work with around them and how much less they produced)... only in that case may your team record be considered to be overlooked, even then you must be lucky and even then your team record cant be to bad...

Last edited by pauk : 12-09-2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #12
ThaRegul8r
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
I unfortunately did research it long time ago, i love facts, dont worry...

If you did the research, you wouldn't have made a false statement in the first place.

But then again, I realize this is the internet, where no one can just admit when they made a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
Out of the 57 MVP winners, 55-56 won them having a top 1-4 team record, even those who won it having a 4th best team record were extremly few....

Only 1-2 players have actually won the MVP having worse team record than top 4 best, Michael Jordan 1987-88 (#5 best team record) and most notably Kareem Abdul Jabbar 1975-76 (#8 best team record).... I didnt count them because they were 1-2 very very very very rare MVP runs (especially Kareem)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
If you look back at all MVP winners in NBA history they had 2 things incommon:

1. They all had one of the 2-4 best team records in the NBA, team success is #1 MVP criteria, no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP

This is factually untrue, which tends to invalidate the rest for me when a blatantly false statement is made which could easily have been looked up on basketball-reference for confirmation.

"All" means "all." 57 out of 57. Anything less is not "all." "Only 1-2 players have actually won the MVP having worse team record than top 4 best" is not "no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP." No amount of rationalization to save face changes that, and it's ridiculous that one was even attempted rather than a simple, "I was mistaken."

But I don't care to continue this, as it's obviously pointless.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
If you did the research, you wouldn't have made a false statement in the first place.

But then again, I realize this is the internet, where no one can just admit when they made a mistake.





"All" means "all." 57 out of 57. Anything less is not "all." "Only 1-2 players have actually won the MVP having worse team record than top 4 best" is not "no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP." No amount of rationalization to save face changes that, and it's ridiculous that one was even attempted rather than a simple, "I was mistaken."

But I don't care to continue this, as it's obviously pointless.

Sure, but i did not make a mistake (except for not explaining myself in the first post).... i meant that hypothetically, i explained to you why i said "all" or that no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP as hypothetically it is true if you take a look above.....

Yes its technically not "all", but at the same time it is "all" hypothetically based on the huge majority of those players (almost 98% to be exact)... Out of the 57 MVP winners almost 56 had a top 4 team record, 49 had a top 2 record... only 1 had a notably worse record than top 4... and that was a very rare scenario where the team record was able to be overlooked for obvious reasons... a scenario that i doubt will ever be duplicated... and if that didnt happen me and you wouldnt be having this conversation right now unless you count Jordan 1987-88 (3 wins away from #4 best team record).... It is by majority "all" and hypothetically "all".... understand?

If you still dont understand then sure lets agree to call it a "false statement" because technically it indeed is.... but if we agree to that then that means me and you both ignore all context and agree to this statement: "You can win the MVP even if you have the 8th best team record".... which is actually logically incorrect if you look at ~56 out of those 57 MVP winners and consider HOW/WHY that 1 player won it by having only the 8th best team record and how/why nobody else was able to do so (and probably nobody ever will in the future), hence my "false statement" though technically indeed being false is actually more logically correct...

Last edited by pauk : 12-09-2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #14
La Frescobaldi
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Default Re: Why didn't Bill Russell win the 1964 MVP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauk
Because Oscar Robertson averaged a 31 point triple double (well, almost, 9.9 rebs, what a slacker) while carrying his team to the 2nd best record in the NBA (4 wins less than Russell).... and he had much less to work with around him than Russell.... The previous seasons Oscar had nowhere near that team success, if he had he would have snatched those MVPs from Russell aswell because lets face it, Russell had a much better supporting cast and produced overall worse than Oscar....

This one was very easy....

If you look back at all MVP winners in NBA history they had 2 things incommon:

1. They all had one of the 2-4 best team records in the NBA, team success is #1 MVP criteria, no player with worse team record than top 4 has ever won the MVP, not even if that player averaged a 50 point quadruple double (its unfair i know, but clearly your performance HAS to translate to wins and if it doesnt, then you aint MVP)
2. They all were one of the top players in the NBA and best players in their teams, doh

MVP is then picked out of those teams (best player out of those teams), based on his productions and most importantly WHAT THE PLAYER HAD TO WORK WITH AROUND HIM compared to those other 2-3 candidates....

My point is that if you ever question some MVP seasons then try to think about this, you will find out that any player who ever won the MVP was always the correct choice...
I've been intrigued for long time about Jordan winning MVP the year Pip showed up.

My opinion is Pippen had some kind of mental effect on Mike.

Like Lennon meeting McCartney
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