BOSTON (CBS) — Despite being one of the single greatest champions in the history of team sports, Bill Russell is an extraordinarily humble person. With his 11 NBA titles and his pair of collegiate national championships, Russell certainly could brag about his accomplishments, but that’s not generally his style.
That’s why when Russell fired off a pair of tweets to Kendrick Perkins on Tuesday night, it was a major break in character.
Russell, 86, came upon this tweet from Perkins, wherein Perkins marveled at the athleticism of LeBron James as he … leapt to rim-height to catch a pass before getting fouled. “Most Athletic Player in NBA History!!!” Perk exclaimed.
Most Athletic Player in NBA History!!! https://t.co/CJWRoz2cQz
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 16, 2020
Russell then took it upon himself to offer a bit of a history lesson to Perkins, who manned the center position in Boston some 30-plus years after Russell.
“In  I could have made the Olympics in high jump but turned it down to play basketball instead,” Russell replied. “We could only play one sport then. Track and Field News ranked me #7 high jumper in the world, I was ranked #2 in the US @ the time. In addition to my leaping ability, I was also an somewhat known as an outstanding sprinter.”
Russell provided photographic evidence, too.
Russell didn’t leave it there, either, as he shared a video of him posterizing some poor soul, long before posterizing was a word.
In addition to my leaping ability, I was also an somewhat known as an outstanding sprinter. And some people may remember this : https://t.co/Am6UN7xdOT
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 17, 2020
At that point, Perkins made the wise decision to quickly retract his previous statement.
Well I’ve been checked by an All-Time Great so sorry @KingJames I’ve had a change of heart….@RealBillRussell is the Most Athletic Player in NBA History!!! My apologies @RealBillRussell 🤣👊🏾🙌🏾💪🏾 https://t.co/6JogEGmUgG
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 17, 2020
“Well I’ve been checked by an All-Time Great so sorry @KingJames I’ve had a change of heart,” Perkins tweeted. “@RealBillRussell is the Most Athletic Player in NBA History!!! My apologies @RealBillRussell”
That was one wise choice.