Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics were anything but slow and unskilled — and we have the proof

There is a popular misconception that basketball before the modern era was slow, unwatchable and played by non-athletes with little skill.

Perhaps at least some of that was true before the start of the shot clock era in 1954, but by the time the Boston Celtics rose to dominance in the late 1950s, that was anything but the case — and not just with the Celtics.

Boston more than any team in the late ’50s and 1960s popularized a fast-paced, athletic version of the sport that would leave many modern players gasping for air. And that was why the Celtics — particularly Olympic athlete Bill Russell — played such a style.

Eventually, the rest of the league caught on and stole their thunder as is so often the case. But don’t let those who are speaking out of ignorance tell you the game was soft, slow or unskilled.

As evidence, we humbly submit this frame-corrected and colorized version of Bill Russell and his Celtics putting the hurt on opponents at high speed, and with all the flashy passes, deft shots and complex plays you would expect to see today, courtesy of Foobas Sports.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire.

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