Bill Russell Takes Flight [Video]

I was not alive in 1956, nor have I seen much basketball footage from 1956. If you asked me to imagine what NCAA or NBA hoops looked like back then, I’d probably tell you about bounce passes and slow white guys with receding hairlines.

That was until this morning. My notions about 1950s basketball are wrong, at least for these glorious 11 seconds.


It’s like the rest of the players (slow, bounce-passing white guys with receding hairlines) are playing in slow motion. There’s nothing graceful about Russell’s sprint – it’s fast and violent, and he flies over a grown ass man like he isn’t there.

The video is from Russell’s second straight championship season at the U of San Francisco. 1956 was 57 years ago, and everything about it – the grainy quality, the flat-footed guys sharing the court with Russell – seems 57 years old.

Bill Russell, trucking his way down the court in what seems like a split second, looks anything but outdated. He looks ahead of his time. It’s like the scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly plays “Johnny B. Goode” in front of a few hundred kids who’ve never heard rock ‘n’ roll or anything like it.

“Guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet… but your kids are gonna love it.”

h/t Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo! Sports

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