Welcome to the NBA 75, The Athletic’s countdown of the 75 best players in NBA history, in honor of the league’s diamond anniversary. We additionally will run options equivalent to this one to enrich sure gamers and moments all through our sequence.

This is an excerpt from The Athletic‘s Marcus Thompson II’s “Dynasties: The 10 G.O.A.T. Teams that Changed the NBA Forever” printed by Black Dog & Levinthal in 2021. All “Dynasties” illustrations by Yu-Ming Huang.

Bill Russell confirmed as much as the Trinity Church in Boston in 2019. So did Tom “Satch” Sanders. John Havlicek was there in spirit.

All that was lacking have been Ok. C. and Sam Jones. That’s how shut the Celtics have been to having all 5 gamers again collectively once more. Some fifty-four years earlier, they have been on the court docket for probably the most memorable second of this Celtics dynasty: Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Division Finals. It was undoubtedly probably the most memorable name in basketball historical past.

The Celtics, winners of six straight championships, have been in peril of being eradicated. They led by some extent with 5 seconds remaining on their residence court docket. Russell took the ball out as a result of he trusted himself probably the most to make the suitable cross. But his inbounds toss hit the wiring linked to the basket, and the Celtics turned the ball over. The 76ers had new life.

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