Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion and one of the game's greatest to ever lace them up, became a trending topic at the NBA Awards Monday after he flipped off Charles Barkley. Russell's explanation of the gesture was equally hilarious.
During a Tuesday afternoon appearance on Jim Rome's podcast, Barkley explained what he thought of Russell flipping him the bird. Unsurprisingly, Chuck loved it.
I thought it was one of the coolest things ever to happen to me, because Bill's a mentor, he's like a father to me and he does that to everybody. It meant a lot to me, because if you know Bill, well, I don't even call him Bill, Mr. Russell, he is one of the best people ever. And I was laughing so hard I almost couldn't keep reading, 'cause I was just naming all the people at his table, before I got to give a award to Mr. (Oscar) Robertson, but I almost fell outta, I almost feel I was laughing so hard inside, because I didn't want to stop, and interrupt Mr. Robertson getting his lifetime achievement award, but I thought it was pretty funny, no, I thought it was really funny and I thought it was hilarious.
At the awards show—the second annual iteration—James Harden claimed MVP, Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year, Dwane Casey took Coach of the Year, Victor Oladipo was named Most Improved Player, and Lou Williams won Sixth Man of the Year.