Originally written on Pass The Pill  |  Last updated 11/16/14

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: 2010 Honoree and former NBA player Bill Russell speaks during the 25th Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf=Astoria on September 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis)

It’s not enough that the league’s best and most talented current player, LeBron James, constantly draws comparisons to the game’s greatest player of all-time, Michael Jordan. Now, Boston Celtics legend and rebounding extraordinaire, Bill Russell, is comparing the way that the current Miami Heat are built to the blueprint in which his former coach, Red Auerbach, used to build one of the best franchises in NBA history.

“What Miami is doing is similar to a theory that Red (Auerbach) used to have,” Russell said. ”You have a core group and you bring in some veterans so you don’t have rookies coming off the bench. Most of the time it worked but sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, we would bring a veteran in hoping to get one more year out of them but they were psychologically destructive, so we can only use them one year. They were not about winning. They were about their career.”

Russell seems to have hit the nail on the head with his comparison. Miami has built what is arguably the strongest core in the NBA, starting with their big-three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They have also dabbled with fading vets, such as former Fab-5 star, Juwan Howard (39 years old), and now they’ve added a pair of aging former teammates in Ray Allen (37 years old) and Rashard Lewis (33 years old) who played together in Seattle as members of the SuperSonics. Lewis and Ray Allen have both also made it to the NBA finals since their days playing together in Seattle. Ray Allen won it all with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and Rashard Lewis fell short with the Orlando Magic in 2009.

Both players (Lewis and Allen) are 3-point specialists, who will serve as pawns to spread the floor to keep teams honest while defending LeBron and Wade’s extreme athleticism.

Russell also weighed in on Ray Allen’s decision to leave the Celtics and join the Heat.

“I kept hearing people say that his legs were going so his jump shot wasn’t as effective. Sometimes, management doesn’t make their own decisions and takes the word of someone who doesn’t really know. So, Ray can be a boost to Miami. But Jason Terry going to the Celtics can also be a boost. Basically, you’re trading a shooter for a scrapper. So, you have to see how it blends in with the guys who you kept.”

The Miami Heat had a similar tool for building back when Dwyane Wade led them to his first title in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks. That roster featured Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton, Antoine Walker and Jason Williams.


The post Bill Russell compares Miami Heat to Red Auerbach’s Celtics appeared first on Pass The Pill.


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