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‘I would kick your ass’: Celtics icon Bill Russell once put Shaq, Kareem, David Robinson in their proper place

Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo

Bill Russell had more than a few memorable moments during his 88 years of existence. In fact, I would definitely struggle in trying to create a Top 10 or Top 20 list of the Boston Celtics legend’s most iconic moments on and off the court.

One particular occasion, however, has to be on that list. I am referring to the instance when Russell literally called out some of the greatest big men in league history with a single swooping blow. Only the late, great Bill Russell could have pulled this moment off (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter):

In case you missed it, the other five men on the stage were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, and Dikembe Mutombo. Along with Bill Russell, this was one of those unforgettable moments that gathered some of the greatest centers in NBA history all on one stage. Naturally, Russell made the instance even more special by coming out with his legendary line:

“I would kick your ass,” Russell stated after counting the five big men on the stage one by one.

This was during the NBA’s inaugural awards show back in 2017. Shaq and Co. were asked to present the lifetime achievement award to Russell on this special occasion, but little did they know that they were going to be put into their proper place by their fellow Hall of Famer.

The best part about all this is that all five of them probably didn’t doubt Russell’s claim. In his prime, Bill Russell was an unstoppable beast, and he would have matched up pretty well with literally any great center in league history.