A History of Athletes Retiring as Champions

Bill Russell

Career years: 1956-1969
Accolades: 11-time NBA champion (1957, 1959-1966, 1968-1969), five-time NBA MVP (1958, 1961-1963, 1965), 12-time NBA All-Star (1958-1969), five-time NBA rebounding champion (1957-59, 1964-1965), NBA 50th Anniversary Team, Pro Basketball Hall of Fame (1975), Olympic gold medalist (1956)
Last stand: 1969 NBA Finals Game 7, May 5, 1969, The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.: Lakers 106 Celtics 108

When you think Boston Celtics the first person that should come to your mind is Bill Russell. A true "big" in every sense of the word, Russell rattled off 11 NBA championships in 13 years with the Celts. Russell's last, and perhaps most contested NBA title, came in his final season in 1969. Bill led his Celtics in seven games against the rival Lakers, and at the age of 35 Russell came away with 21 rebounds in the 108-106 victory over Jerry West and Co. 

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