We all love our favorite NBA stars for their on-court performances. They delight us with their amazing performances, inspire us with their efforts, and even give us hope on the verge of defeat. But sometimes over-confidence in their abilities can make us skip the guides entirely, causing us to lose our bets.
1- Bill Russell
Bill Russell is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He has the honor of being a five-time NBA MVP plus a 12-time All-Star. His achievements are all the more amazing if we consider the fact that he was a black player who faced racism from a very early age. His father was once refused service at a gas station while his mother was also subjected to racism by a white policeman. But that did not stop him from garnering success in the basketball world.
Russell won 11 NBA championships for the Celtics during his 13 years for the Boston based team. He always performed well when his team needed him the most. He backed the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali when he refused to participate in the Vietnam War. Russell has also the distinction of being the first black head coach in the history of the NBA.
2- Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo, the former Houston Rockets player, is greatly famous for his humanitarian work in the NBA world. He expended a hefty sum to build a 300-bed hospital in his native country Congo. Even George Bush commended his work in his 2007 State of the Union Address. The former US President even contributed $15 million of the $29 million it took for the hospital’s construction.
Mutombo is considered as one of the greatest shot-blockers and defensive players of all time. The Congolese-American player was also an eight-time All-Star.
3- Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson’s career achievements are outstanding. He earned nine NBA Finals appearances, three MVP Awards, and twelve All-Star games. However, his off the court achievements are not any less impressive.
He suffered from dyslexia and ADD as a child, but he worked hard to overcome the deficiency and eventually became able to read. After he contracted HIV in 1991, he became involved in many AIDS awareness programs too.
4- Oscar Robertson
Like many black players, Oscar Robertson experienced racism on a fairly regular basis. But that only served to toughen him up as a sportsman. He went on to have a great career in the NBA, winning the MVP award once and also becoming a 12-time All-Star.
Robertson as the president of the Players Association also challenged the reserve clause in 1970 and the NBA finally gave the players free agency in 1976.