Bill Russell lands overdue honor

PHOENIX – Early in David Stern’s annual State of the NBA Saturday night, he made what he called an announcement “of transcendent importance.”
Relax, Knicks fans: LeBron James hasn’t agreed to come to New York in 2010.
Stern announced that starting in June, the Finals MVP will be named for Bill Russell, the Celtics legend who won a record 11 titles as player and coach but never won the award. The award was first presented in 1969, Russell’s final season, and that year it went to the Lakers’ Jerry West, who became the first and only player from a losing team to take home the trophy.

Overcome with emotion after having recently lost his wife, Marilyn, the five-time regular-season MVP accepted the honor on behalf of his former Celtics teammates.

nydailynews.com
2/15/09