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I grew up a Celtics fan in the 1980s because my dad went to law school in Boston in the early 1960s It was cheaper for he and his friends to go watch the Celtics play than most other things they could do, so frequently they did, winning a championship every year he was there in large part because Bill Russell was there too As Russell was considered the leader of those Celtics, he has always occupied a spot in in sports imagination Of all the athletes I ve never seen play, Russell is the one I would most like to see play in his prime Between college and pro, he played for 17 seasons, winning a championship in 13 His last three seasons with the Celtics he was player coach So I was thrilled to track down a copy of his memoir co written with Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of MLK, Jr It was a mixed success The opening chapter about his family and upbringing in Louisiana was great, as were the other accounts of his youth in Oakland, his mother s passing, and figuring out how to really play basketball after graduating high school He doesn t talk about basketball much, but I loved hearing about his relationships with the other Celtics, particularly K.C Jones and Sam Jones The story about his grandfather breaking down in tears when visiting the Celtics locker room and realized the white and black players showered together, were genuinely friends, and all had to do what William told them to was my favorite moment The latter chapters on women and post basketball life dropped this from a four star book to a three The chapter on women made me uncomfortable and the post playing days portion conveyed the sense of drift most professional athletes of his caliber must experience necessary for his life story but it did not make for the most interesting reading.All and all, I m glad to have read it, and I appreciate Russell s gifts on the court and as an deeply independent and opinionated man. I appreciate the candor, but he s not my cup of tea. After reading Last Pass, which describes Bob Cousy s regret about not comprehending racial issues better when he was Russell s teammate on the Celtics in the 50s and early 60s, I had to read one of Russell s books as well I liked Second Wind, though I found it rather uneven Parts of it were fantastic Russell s discourses on what makes a championship team, his thoughts about racism and the pervasiveness of racist views in America, and his explanations for aspects of his behavior that some still find off putting notoriously, he refuses to sign autographs were hugely instructive about the man and his beliefs On the other hand, sections about this childhood, though a revelation to me, lacked narrative flow and were surprisingly hard to get through At one point I almost gave up on the book A chapter on the women in his life it s accurate to say, the womanizing in his life seemed to have been written for his benefit, not the reader s Bill, we ve all done stupid stuff.All that said, I have always had huge admiration for William Felton Russell, a student of the game, the greatest defensive basketball player in NBA history by a wide margin, and a clear thinker regarding the chasm between blacks and whites in this country There is a statue of Russell on City Hall Plaza in Boston Russell I never played for Boston I played for the Celtics I have always felt that the City missed a great opportunity to honor this incredible man by naming the third harbor tunnel in his honor No such luck it s the Ted Williams Tunnel, named for a man no one realized then, and few realize now, was half Mexican. This book is hardly about basketball, and that fact actually strengthens it s appeal Russell doesn t spend too much time rehashing stories of old glory on the court, in fact some of the best basketball stories are about the Celtic team culture and the way the players kept things light during stressful stretches of the season Where the book really flies is when Russell talks about his innovative approach to the game He was a pioneer who changed basketball at a time when the sport was still young enough to be molded You might consider him the Steve Jobs of basketball for the impact he had on the game s formative years But the majority of the book is spent on details of Russell s life off the court and his musings on several topics of interest race relations, athletes using their profile to speak out about social justice, the NCAA and the problem of amateur sports, women Sometimes he meanders from subject to subject, almost in a stream of conscious sort of way I actually wish the book had been a little longer Meandering as he may have been, Russell s takes were always rivetting If I ever got the chance, I would have a beer with him and just sit and listen to his thoughts on whatever topic he chose to talk about. Bill Russell s sort of biography But it s not completely organized like a biography The first chapter is about his childhood in Mississippi, and his father and grandfather But he spent almost half his childhood in Oakland, and there s not too much about that, and there s not much about his college years, except as spread throughout the book regarding his basketball education He s awfully candid but neither explicit nor braggardly about his sleeping around on his wife, and similar acts by pro teammates though he is discreet enough not to mention names there In fact, he hardly mentions his wife, as she apparently wasn t a very large part of his life He s pretty philosophical, and mostly aware that his opinions are just that, and out of the mainstream, and that he s not always consistent Refreshing, that Didn t want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame the first Black to be so because he knew a lot of the folks who had been and thought that they weren t very worthy mostly because of racism including Abe Saperstien, founder of Harlem Globetrotters, whom he claimed fought against integration of MLB and NBA, as that would subtract from his bottom line But does a good job of explaining his out of the mainstream ideas, mostly The one disappointment is that it was written in 1979, shortly after he finished his first coaching stint, and only ten years after he retired as a player So there s less perspective But also the kind of things he says about athletes these days has less resonance. This memoir autobiography scattered reminiscences is definatly a worthwhile read, especially for Celtics of New England sports enthusiasts I grew up watching the end of Bird McHale Parish, and the Pierce Garnett Allen team brought me back into basketball, but Russell remains my all time GOAT I m biased to like this bookand I do like this book a lot My favorite sections were Family Heroes ch 1 about the rich family life he had while growing up in Jim Crow era Louisiana and the disjointed by imminently quotable Freedom ch 6 Just this past week Jan 2017 Boston sports writers and radio hosts have had hours of work provided them in finding ways to denounce Jae Crowder s allegation that the city might be kind of sort of immeasurably but definatly racist Read what Bill Russell got to say He only gives a few sporadic concrete examples, but there s certainly reasons why old no 15 1 didn t bother making his uniform number retirement a ceremony before a game, it was done privately and against his wishes and 2 strongly writes about why he played for the Celtics, not Boston and yes, that s a big difference The team was the first in NBA to have a Black player Chuck Cooper, 1950 , first to have an all Black five man on the court, first to have a Black head coach Russell himself As for Boston, the city has a sordid racial climate than the liberty loving, Paul Revere riding, freedom fighting William Lloyd Garrison abolitionist legacy than Ye Olde Towne wants to reconcile itself with. For some reason I like reading books about basketball, I think this is my third one in the past year I don t read books about football or hockey or soccer all sports I follow to a degree Just basketball I m fascinated by the history of the game and about the greats both players and coaches I like to understand why teams win and how they sustain success Ironically, basketball games are normally won by the team with the strongest players, upsets are rare, but strategy and philosophy seems to make a difference hence Phil Jackson s abnormal success So reading the memoir of another repeat winner, Bill Russell, appealed to me I knew he was famous for his defence and his curmudgeonly personality, but otherwise I knew very little about the man Well, I got than I bargained for rather than the life of a basketball great, this is a very critical self examination of a life of a great man, warts and all He spends as much time talking about his grandfather, the women in his life, or freedom, as he does about the Celtics The three characteristics of his personality that stuck out, which I believe helped to explain his greatness both on and off the court, were the depth of his analytical abilities, his self awareness, and his independent thought Bill Russell was an original thinker, always curious, and never afraid to express his opinion His honesty and candour deserve five stars, but his writing style this sometimes reads like it was written in the wee hours by a solipsistic teenager deserves barely three. Bill Russell really has a gift with stories Especially when relating the stories of his family and early childhood in Louisiana, the way the family yarns spin one into the other makes for a wonderfully fun start to the book For a book by a sports figure, Russell does not dwell too much on his successes Considering he won two NCAA titles and 11 NBA titles as a player or player coach, it is admirable restraint on his part While he gives accounts of Red Auerbach, Bob Cousy, Sam Jones, and K.C Jones, it never becomes a panegyric for Russell or the Celtics Bill Russell was strong advocate for civil rights, and it is understandable why Racism played a large role in his and his family s life, motivating them to move to Oakland This provides the launch point for his discursions into African colonies where he is rather critical of Liberia among others and American imperialism in Vietnam Russell s perspective is interesting and informed or at least I thought so, agreeing with him on most points It s not too surprising considering how Russell has always wished to be seen as a human being first, and one who just happens to play basketball well He has never wanted sports to be his whole identity While most people will remember his for his athletic feats, this book shows how that is just one facet of his life. Popular E Book, Second Wind By Bill Russell This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Second Wind, Essay By Bill Russell Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You One of the best sports books I ve ever read, which isn t saying much because I don t really read sports books In a few places, Russell a five time MVP and the first black NBA coach breaks down a, say, ten second span of action in a basketball game to the millisecond I can see he knows I m going to fade away and try a shot, and I know my teammate will be about three feet behind me to the left, so I fake the shot and pass behind me instead, but he s guessed I ll do that and is ready on that side it s kindof mind blowing, the amount of thinking pro NBA players do I still don t love basketball, but that s not Bill Russell s fault This is a really cool book.Popped into my head last night while watching the Lakers totally embarrass the Celtics.