The NBA is back as the regular season started on Tuesday night. And in a nod to history and legacy, the Boston Celtics opened against the Philadelphia 76ers. Though the city has had two teams – the Warriors left for the Bay Area in 1962 but both teams had heated rivalries with Boston.
And at the heart of those rivalries, was Bill Russell, who was honored by Boston on opening night. As announced by the NBA this summer, after his passing, the NBA will retire his #6 league wide.
He’s at the heart of one of the greatest legacies in the history of sports. Russell won everything after his sophomore year of college, failing to win the final game only twice – and in one of those, he was injured. Boston only lost a playoff series one other time with Russell, to Philly naturally, in 1967.
When the game started Tuesday night though, former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum was the star. He scored 35 points and had 12 rebounds, shooting 13-20.
Jaylen Brown matched him with 35, giving Boston’s Dynamic Duo 70 of their final 126 points.
Aside from Russell, Boston has retired jerseys for such luminaries as Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Frank Ramsey, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird and Kevin Garnett.
At the rate his game is growing, Tatum may be the next.