The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Western Conference's Pacific Division; the Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The team plays its home games at the Golden 1 Center; the Kings are one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation. They originated in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Seagrams in 1923 and joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the Rochester Royals, they jumped to the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the NBA, in 1948. As the Royals, the team was successful on the court, winning the NBA championship in 1951; the team, found it difficult to turn a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester and relocated to Cincinnati in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972 the team relocated to Kansas City and was renamed the Kansas City-Omaha Kings because it split its home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1975, the Kings ceased playing home games in Omaha and became the Kansas City Kings. The team again failed to find success in its market and moved to Sacramento in 1985; the Royals defected to the NBL's rival, the Basketball Association of America, in 1948. In 1949, as a result of that year's absorption of the NBL by the BAA, the Royals became members of the newly formed NBA along with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, Indianapolis Jets. A year the BAA absorbed the remaining NBL teams to become the National Basketball Association; the move to the BAA took away Rochester's profitable exhibition schedule, placed it in the same Western Division that Minneapolis was in. Of the two best teams in pro basketball, only one of them could play in the league finals from 1949 to 1954. Minneapolis, with George Mikan, was always a little better at playoff time than the Royals. With their smallish arena and now-limited schedule, the Royals became less profitable as Harrison maintained a remarkably high standard for the team, which finished no lower than second in its division in both the NBL and BAA/NBA from 1945 to 1954.
Harrison knew that the NBA was outgrowing Rochester, spent most of the 1950s looking for a buyer for his team. The Royals won the NBA title in 1951 by defeating the New York Knicks 4–3, it is the only NBA championship in the franchise's history. The title, did not translate into profit for the Royals; the roster turned over except for Bobby Wanzer. Now a losing team filled with rookies, the Royals still did not turn a profit. Meanwhile, the NBA was putting pressure on Harrison to relocate his team to a larger city. With this in mind, the 1956–57 season was the Royals' last in Rochester; the Royals' stay in Rochester featured the services of nine future members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, one member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Hollywood Walk of Famer: Al Cervi, Bob Davies, Alex Hannum, Les Harrison, Red Holzman, Arnie Risen, Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, Bobby Wanzer, Otto Graham, Chuck Connors and Jack McMahon. In April 1957, the Harrison brothers moved the Royals to Cincinnati; this move followed a well-received regular season game played at Cincinnati Gardens on February 1, 1957.
The change of venue had been said to have been suggested by Jack Twyman and Dave Piontek, who were two of several roster players on the new Royals from that region. Cincinnati, which had a strong college basketball fan base and no NFL franchise to compete with, was deemed the best choice for the Harrisons; the Royals name continued to fit in Cincinnati known as the "Queen City". During the team's first NBA draft in Cincinnati, the team acquired Clyde Lovellette and guard George King, they teamed with the 1–2 punch of Maurice Stokes and Twyman to produce a budding contender in the team's first season in the Queen City. Injury to Marshall and the loss of star guard Si Green to military service dropped the team into a tie for second place in the NBA Western Division during the 1957–58 season's second half. In the season's finale, All-Pro star Maurice Stokes struck his head when he fell after pursuing a rebound, he shook off the effects of the fall as he had been unconscious. After Game One in the playoffs three days Stokes' head injury was aggravated by airplane cabin pressure during the flight back to Cincinnati for Game Two.
He suffered a seizure and was permanently hospitalized, a tragedy that shook the team. Stokes, a tremendous talent who could play center and guard, was 2nd in the NBA in rebounds and 3rd in assists, a double-feat only Wilt Chamberlain has matched for a full season. Without Stokes, the team nearly folded. Fellow All-Star Twyman rose to All-Pro level the next two seasons for Cincinnati as the team posted two 19-win seasons; the 1958–59 Cincinnati team featured five rookies, with Lovellette and other key players having left the team in the wake of Stokes' tragic injury. The Harrisons, under pressure to sell to a local group, sold to a local ownership headed by Thomas Woods; the fact that Stokes was dumped by the team and the new ownership infuriated many. Jack Twyman came to the aid of his teammate, legally adopted Stokes. Raising funds for Stokes' medical treatment, Twyman helped him until his death in April 1970; the 1973 feature film Maurie, which co-starred actors Bernie Casey and Bo Svenson, dramatized their story.
Shooting for the beleaguered team, Twyman was the second NBA player to average 30 points per game for an NBA season. Twyman and Stokes were late
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, play at the Fiserv Forum. Former U. S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, but on April 16, 2014, a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wes Edens and Marc Lasry agreed to purchase a majority interest in the team from Kohl, a sale, approved by the owners of the NBA and its Board of Governors one month on May 16; the team is managed by Jon Horst, the team's former director of basketball operations, who took over for John Hammond in May 2017. The Bucks have won one league title, two conference titles, 14 division titles, they have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, Brian Winters.
On January 22, 1968, the NBA awarded a franchise to Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. a group headed by Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. A fan contest was held to name the new team, with over 40,000 fans participating. While the most-voted fan entry was the Robins, named for Wisconsin's state bird, the contest judges went with the second-most popular choice, the Bucks, a reference to Wisconsin's official wild animal, the white-tailed deer. One fan, R. D. Trebilcox, was awarded a new car for his part in reasoning why the Bucks was a good nickname, saying that bucks were "spirited, good jumpers and agile." The Bucks marked a return of the NBA to Milwaukee after 13 years. In October, the Bucks played their first NBA regular-season game against the Chicago Bulls before a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467; as is typical with expansion teams, the Bucks' first season was a struggle. Their first victory came in their sixth game as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 134–118; the Bucks' record that year earned them a coin flip against their expansion cousins, the Phoenix Suns, to see who would get the first pick in the upcoming draft.
It was considered a foregone conclusion that the first pick in the draft would be Lew Alcindor of UCLA. The Bucks won the coin flip, but had to win a bidding war with the upstart American Basketball Association to secure him. Despite the Bucks' stroke of fortune in landing Alcindor, no one expected what happened in 1969–70, they finished with a 56–26 record – a nearly exact reversal of the previous year and good enough for the second-best record in the league, behind the New York Knicks. The 29-game improvement was the best in league history – a record which would stand for 10 years until the Boston Celtics jumped from 29 wins in 1978–79 to 61 in 1979–80; the Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the Eastern semifinals, only to be dispatched in five by the Knicks in the Eastern finals. Alcindor was a runaway selection for NBA Rookie of the Year; the following season, the Bucks got an unexpected gift when they acquired Oscar Robertson, known as the "Big O", in a trade with the Cincinnati Royals.
Subsequently, in only their third season, the Bucks finished 66–16 – the second-most wins in NBA history at the time, still the most in franchise history. During the regular season, the Bucks recorded, they steamrolled through the playoffs with a dominating 12–2 record, winning the NBA Championship on April 30, 1971, by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games. By winning it all in only their third season, the Bucks became the fastest expansion team in the history of North American sports to win a championship; as of 2018, it remains the only title in team history. The Bucks remained a powerhouse for the first half of the 1970s. In 1972, they recorded their third consecutive 60-win season. During the year, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Milwaukee beat the Warriors in the playoffs 4–1, but lost the conference finals to Los Angeles 4–2. Injuries resulted in an early 1973 playoff exit, but the Bucks were back in the 1974 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. In game six of the series, Abdul-Jabbar made his famous "sky hook" shot to end a classic double-overtime victory for the Bucks.
The Bucks lost the series to the Celtics. As the 1974–1975 season began, Abdul-Jabbar suffered a hand injury and the team got off to a 3–13 start. After his return, other injuries befell Milwaukee, sending them to the bottom of their division with 38 wins and 44 losses; when the season ended, Abdul-Jabbar made the stunning announcement that he no longer wished to play for the Bucks, stating that he needed the big city, requesting a trade to either Los Angeles or New York City. The front office was unable to convince him otherwise and on June 16, 1975, the Bucks pulled a mega-trade by sending Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and David Meyers; the trade triggered a series of events. The Bucks' largest stockholder, cable television executive Jim Fitzgerald, opposed the trade and wanted to sell his stock. Although Fitzgerald was the largest stockholder, he did not own enough stock to control the team. After the deal, the Bucks
Gail Charles Goodrich Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. He is best known for scoring a record 42 points for UCLA in the 1965 NCAA championship game vs. Michigan, his part in the Los Angeles Lakers' 1971–72 season. During that season the team won a still-record 33 consecutive games, posted what was at the time the best regular season record in NBA history, won the franchise's first NBA championship since relocating to Los Angeles. Goodrich was the leading scorer on that team, he is acclaimed for leading UCLA to its first two national championships under the legendary coach John Wooden, the first in 1963–64 being a perfect 30-0 season when he played with teammate Walt Hazzard. In 1996, 17 years after his retirement from professional basketball, Goodrich was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A native of the Los Angeles area, Goodrich was the captain of the John H. Francis Polytechnic High School basketball team that dominated and won the 1961 Los Angeles City high school basketball championship.
Goodrich scored 29 points in the championship game despite breaking his ankle in the third quarter. Goodrich has said that he had wanted to attend the University of Southern California, where his father had once been a star player, but coach John Wooden of UCLA showed much more interest in Goodrich than did USC. Like many Division I colleges, USC was wary of Goodrich's short stature, he was only 5 ft 8 in his junior year in high school and at his ultimate height of 6 ft 1 in, he was short by college basketball standards. Goodrich attended UCLA, where he finished as the school's all-time leading scorer and played on the school's first two national championship teams in 1964 and 1965, he was a two-time All-America and the Helms Foundation's "Co-Player of the Year" in 1965. In the 1965 NCAA championship game, he scored a record; this record stood until 1973 when UCLA's Bill Walton scored 44 in the finals vs. Memphis State, through 2007 it is still the second-highest total by a player in the championship game.
While at UCLA, Goodrich was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. A tenacious and fiery competitor, Goodrich used intelligent ball-handling skills and excellent court vision to lead two of the most successful teams in college basketball history; the left-handed junior guard was the team's main scorer. He finished with an average of 21.5 points per game and guided the 1963–64 UCLA Bruins to a 30-0 record. For the first time, a UCLA team won all 30 of its games en route to the school's first NCAA title. Goodrich and Keith Erickson were the only returning starters from the team that won UCLA's first national title in 1964; as a senior, the Bruins repeated as NCAA champions. At UCLA, Goodrich helped compile a 78-11 three-year record. In both of those championship seasons, Goodrich was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team. Goodrich at the time finished as UCLA's all-time leading scorer, now broken by Don MacLean. Although many believed Goodrich was too small for the college game and too frail for the pros, through perseverance and discipline, proved his doubters wrong.
Goodrich was nicknamed "Stumpy", a moniker bestowed upon him by teammate Elgin Baylor, because of Goodrich's height and short legs. Goodrich was a territorial pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1965 NBA draft; as a rookie in 1965–66, he averaged about 15 minutes per game as a reserve guard behind starters Jerry West and former UCLA teammate Walt Hazzard. Goodrich posted averages of 2.0 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game. On December 23, 1965, he scored a personal single-game best of 25 points against the San Francisco Warriors; the Lakers advanced to the NBA finals. In 1966–67, his playing time increased to over 23 minutes per game as he divided time with Hazzard at guard opposite West. Goodrich posted averages of 3.3 rpg and 2.7 apg. In the first game of the season he scored a career-high 30 points in a game against the Baltimore Bullets, a feat which he duplicated six weeks against the Chicago Bulls. In 1967–68, his third season, Goodrich's playing time increased again, to 26 minutes per game, although it wasn't without frustration as he returned to a reserve role backing up guard Archie Clark opposite West.
Goodrich averaged 2.5 rpg and 2.6 apg. The Lakers returned to the NBA Finals. In 1968, the Lakers lost Goodrich to the Phoenix Suns in the expansion draft, he became the star of the new franchise and a favorite among Suns fans. A full-time starter for the first time in his NBA career in 1968–69, Goodrich showed what was to come as he scored at least 22 points in each of the Suns' first 11 games. In December 1968, he exploded for 40 points against the Warriors, but topped that with 43 against the Bulls and, on March 9, 1969, he scored 47 against the San Diego Rockets. For the season, Goodrich scored tops on his team, he surprised critics who had labeled him a gunner by ranking seventh in assists with 6.4 per game along with 5.4 rpg. He was selected to play in the 1969 NBA All-Star Game. In 1969 -- 70, Goodrich scored 7.5 apg. After the season, on May 20, 1970, he was traded back to the Lakers in exchange for Mel Counts. For the 1970–71 season, now as a Lakers starter alongside Jerry West, Goodrich averaged 17.5 ppg as the Lakers advanced to the Western
Power forward (basketball)
The power forward known as the four, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. It has been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center, they play offensively with their backs towards the basket and position themselves defensively under the basket in a zone defense or against the opposing power forward in man-to-man defense. The power forward position entails a variety of responsibilities, one of, rebounding. Many power forwards are noted for their mid-range jump-shot, several players have become accurate from 12 to 18 feet. Earlier, these skills were more exhibited in the European style of play; some power forwards, known as stretch fours, have since extended their shooting range to three-point field goals. In the NBA, power forwards range from 6' 8" to 7' 0" while in the WNBA, power forwards are between 6' 1" and 6' 4". Despite the averages, a variety of players fit "tweener" roles which finds them in the small forward or center position depending on matchups and coaching decisions.
Some power forwards play the center position and have the skills, but lack the height, associated with that position
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, he played for the University of Kansas and for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. Chamberlain stood 7 ft 1 in tall, weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and to over 300 pounds with the Lakers. Chamberlain holds numerous NBA records in scoring and durability categories, he is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, nine field goal percentage titles and led the league in assists once. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, which he accomplished seven times, he is the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.
Although he suffered a long string of losses in the playoffs, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, was selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. He was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, in 1996 he was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Chamberlain was known by several nicknames during his basketball playing career, he hated the ones that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath" and "Wilt the Stilt". A Philadelphia sportswriter coined the nicknames during Chamberlain's high school days, he preferred "The Big Dipper", inspired by his friends who saw him dip his head as he walked through doorways. After his professional basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of that organization, is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions.
He was a successful businessman, authored several books, appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his claim of having had sexual relations with as many as 20,000 women. Chamberlain was born in 1936 in Philadelphia, into a family of nine children, the son of Olivia Ruth Johnson, a domestic worker and homemaker, William Chamberlain, a welder and handyman, he was a frail child, nearly dying of pneumonia in his early years and missing a whole year of school as a result. In his early years Chamberlain was not interested in basketball, because he thought it was "a game for sissies". Instead, he was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3, put the shot 53 feet, 4 inches, long jumped 22 feet. But according to Chamberlain, "basketball was king in Philadelphia", so he turned to the sport; because Chamberlain was a tall child measuring 6 ft 0 in at age 10 and 6 ft 11 in when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School, he had a natural advantage against his peers.
According to ESPN journalist Hal Bock, Chamberlain was "scary, flat-out frightening... before he came along, most basketball players were mortal-sized men. Chamberlain changed that." It was in this period of his life when his three lifelong nicknames "Wilt the Stilt", "Goliath", his favorite, "The Big Dipper", were born. As the star player for the Overbrook Panthers, Chamberlain averaged 31 points a game during the 1953 high school season and led his team to a 71–62 win over Northeast High School, who had Guy Rodgers, Chamberlain's future NBA teammate, he scored 34 points as Overbrook won the Public League title and gained a berth in the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic. In that game, West Catholic quadruple-teamed Chamberlain the entire game, despite the center's 29 points, the Panthers lost 54–42. In his second Overbrook season, he continued his prolific scoring when he tallied a high school record 71 points against Roxborough.
The Panthers comfortably won the Public League title after again beating Northeast in which Chamberlain scored 40 points, won the city title by defeating South Catholic 74–50. He led Overbrook to a 19 -- 0 season. During summer vacations, he worked as a bellhop in Kutsher's Hotel. Subsequently, owners Milton and Helen Kutsher kept up a lifelong friendship with Wilt, according to their son Mark, "They were his second set of parents." Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, spotted the talented teenager at Kutscher's and had him play 1-on-1 against University of Kansas standout and national champion, B. H. Born, elected the Most Outstanding Player of the 1953 NCAA Finals. Chamberlain won 25–10. In Chamberlain's third and final Overbrook season, he continued his high scoring, logging 74, 78 and 90 points in three consecutive games; the Panthers won the Public League a third time, beating West Philadelphia 78–60, in
William John Cunningham is an American former professional basketball player and coach, nicknamed the Kangaroo Kid. He spent a total of 17 seasons with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, two seasons as a player with the Carolina Cougars of the ABA. Billy Cunningham was born in New York, his fame began while he was playing at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, where he was the MVP in the Brooklyn League in 1961. That year, he was the First-Team All-New York City, a member of the Parade Magazine All-America Team. Cunningham went to the University of North Carolina, where he excelled, he once grabbed a record 27 rebounds in a game vs. Clemson on February 16, 1963. Cunningham set a single-game North Carolina record with 48 points against Tulane on December 10, 1964. In his UNC career, he scored 1,709 points, grabbed 1,062 rebounds. Upon graduation, his 1,062 rebounds were the best in North Carolina history and he held seasonal records for most rebounds and rebound average. 3-year letter winner All-Atlantic Coast Conference ACC Player of the Year All-ACC Tournament Team ACC Academic All-Conference A USBWA All-America Helms Foundation All-America Sporting News All-America 2nd team Team Captain Played in the East-West Game in 1965 Played at the World University Games in 1965 Named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team, honoring the fifty best players in ACC history In 1965, Cunningham joined the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association as a sixth man and played well enough to be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. Cunningham was a member of the powerful 1967 Sixers championship team.
After Chamberlain left the team in 1968, Cunningham became the 76ers' franchise player. He would replace the injured and aging Luke Jackson as the starting power forward of the team, averaged 24.8 points per game and 12.8 rebounds per game during the 1968–69 season while leading the 76ers to 55 wins. After that season, he earned the first of what would be three straight All-NBA First Team selections. In 1972, he joined the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association. In his first ABA season, Cunningham averaged 24.1 points per game, 12.0 rebounds per game, led the league in total steals. He led the Cougars to the best record in the league and was selected to the All-ABA First Team and was named the ABA MVP. During the post-season, the Cougars defeated the New York Nets in five games in the Eastern Division Semifinals to advance to the Eastern Division Finals. In the Division Finals the Cougars lost a tight seven game series to the Kentucky Colonels, 4 games to 3. In the 1973–74 season Cunningham and the Cougars finished third in the Eastern Division and lost again to the Kentucky Colonels in the Eastern Division semifinals.
After the 1973–74 season, Cunningham returned to the 76ers, where he played until he suffered a career-ending injury early in the 1975–76 season. For his career, Cunningham scored 16,310 points and grabbed 7,981 rebounds in both the NBA and the ABA. After his playing days were done, he became the head coach of the 76ers on November 4, 1977, built a great team featuring the likes of Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, Moses Malone, Julius Erving, he reached the 300, 400-win milestone faster than any coach in NBA history. He led Philadelphia to the playoffs in every year as coach, advancing to the NBA Finals 3 times, in 1979–80, 1981–82 and 1982–83, facing the Los Angeles Lakers all 3 times; the 76ers lost to the Lakers in 1980 and 1982, but after acquiring Moses Malone, Cunningham got them past the Lakers in 1983, winning the franchise's third NBA Championship as part of a 12-1 playoff run. Upon his retirement, his 454 wins, he holds the third best regular season winning percentage in league history.698.
He is still the winningest coach in Sixers history. Cunningham joined the broadcast team for CBS in the 1976-77 season paired with Brent Musburger, leaving after the season ended to coach the 76ers. Cunningham would rejoin the CBS broadcast team starting with the 1985-86 season, again paired with Musburger. In 1987, Cunningham replaced Tom Heinsohn as the lead color commentator for CBS' NBA telecasts. Cunningham left CBS Sports the following season to join the Miami Heat expansion franchise as a minority owner. Cunningham was subsequently replaced on CBS by Hubie Brown. Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame All-NBA First Team ABA All Star, First Team All-NBA Second Team Four-time NBA All-Star Elected to the ABA's All-Time Team One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History His number 32 jersey is retired by the Philadelphia 76ers. Barkley wore the number 34, but switched to 32 in honor of Magic Johnson, who had announced at the start of the season that he was HIV-positive. List of National Basketball Association single-game playoff scoring leaders Billy Cunningham statistics
Cazzie Lee Russell is an American former professional basketball player and coach. Russell was the first overall pick of the 1966 NBA draft. In 1962, while playing at Chicago's Carver High School, Russell was named the Chicago Sun-Times Boy's Player of the Year. Russell played college basketball at the University of Michigan. Along with Bill Buntin, Russell led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten Conference titles and to Final Four appearances in 1964 and 1965, losing in the final game 91-80 to defending national champion UCLA and John Wooden in 1965. In 1966, Russell averaged 30.8 points per game and was named the College Basketball Player of the Year. Crisler Arena, which opened in 1967, has been dubbed The House. Russell was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity - Sigma Chapter in 1964. Russell was drafted by the New York Knicks with the first overall pick of the 1966 NBA draft, playing for them for five seasons. While playing for the Knicks he was named to the 1967 All-Rookie Team and won the NBA Finals in 1970.
In 1971, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jerry Lucas and appeared in the 1972 NBA All-Star Game. In 1974, Russell signed with the Los Angeles Lakers when the Warriors did not offer him a no-cut contract. While with the Lakers he became the last player to wear the number 32 and 33 jerseys before Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In 1978, he signed with the Chicago Bulls. In total, Russell spent 12 seasons in the NBA. During the 1978–79 season, Russell player for the Great Falls Sky of the Western Basketball Association, he ended his career after the 1980–81 season when he played for the Philadelphia Kings of the Continental Basketball Association. In 1981, he became the head coach for the Lancaster Lightning of the CBA, he guided the team to the 1981–82 league championship. During the playoffs, with his team depleted by injuries, Russell came out of retirement and played for the Lightning in the final game of the league championship series, played in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Russell coached the Wyoming Wildcatters, Grand Rapids Hoops and Columbus Horizon of the CBA and the Mid-Michigan Great Lakers in the Global Basketball Association. He served as assistant coach of the Atlanta Hawks for two seasons. Russell was the head coach of the men's basketball team at the Savannah College of Art and Design for 13 seasons, until the college eliminated the sport in 2009, he still remains at the college in an administrative capacity. He served as an assistant coach at Armstrong State University until 2017, he spent several years as head coach at Centennial High School in Columbus, during the mid-1990s before taking the job in Georgia. During the 1960s, while with the Knicks, Russell was part of the New York Army National Guard's Fighting 69th Regiment. In 2006, Russell was voted as one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament, a group of former players and coaches in honor of the 100 anniversary of the IHSA boys basketball tournament. Russell received the Bobby Jones Award in 2015 at the Athletes in Action All Star Breakfast, held each year at the NBA All Star Weekend.
In 2016 Russell was the recipient of the Coach Wooden "Keys to Life" Award at the Athletes in Action Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, held each year at the Final Four. University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor