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6’9″ Jordan Bell, same size as Bill Russell.

Wiki quote from Bill Russell:

“The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.”

Either Kansas had a bad shooting night, or Jordan Bell had a great game.

(Bell’s Elite Eight stat line: 11 points, 13 rebounds, eight blocks, four assists.)

Combine the two and you get why the Oregon Ducks advance to the Final Four to play Kansas ex-coach Roy Williams and North Carolina.

Watching the biggest Oregon Duck basketball game of the year turned into a Bill Russell vision when Bell rung up block after block.

Is comparing anyone to Bill Russell a sacrilege?


Add Michael Jordan’s rings and LeBron James’ rings together and you’re still two short of the Bill Russell total of eleven. Magic Johnson and MJ add up better.

But it’s more than math with Jordan Bell.

Whether Bell ever wins the NBA title, he showed a throwback attitude against Kansas blue.

On both ends of the court he lit up Jayhawks like a string of jumping firecrackers on New Year’s Eve.

Explosive play from an explosive player.

Jordan Bell


Jordan Bell, Bill Russell

From Bleacher Report:

One of the smartest players in league history, Bill Russell controlled games via defensive backboard domination. He was a master at blocking shots in a way so that either he or a teammate could grab the loose ball. Along with stopping the opposing team from scoring, this ignited the Celtics’ fast break offense.

That’s what Bell did. All. Night. Long.

Once you get a few shocks checked in your face, you might start looking over your shoulder?

If your breakaway lay up somehow gets blocked by the guy who just jammed on the opposite end of the court, you might have second thoughts on what’s a breakaway.

Call me old fashioned, or fundamental, but call me a fan of intimidation, too.

You’ve got several ways to win during a game: Elevate your game, trust your teammates, crush your opponents mentally.

The last one is the basis for the Bell/Russell comparison.

With his motor revving to the redline, Bell ran the court harder than Kansas expected.

They never adjusted to his presence at either end.

Like Russell and his Boston Celtics, Bell’s teammates found the sort of game enabled by a dominant big in the middle.

Think of the extra confidence he gives a shooter like Tyler Dorsey who knows he’ll get another chance if his long ball isn’t on.


Became Oregon’s career blocked shots leader in just his 50th game. (147)

jordan bell


No one expected Oregon to beat Kansas, let alone hammer them by fourteen points.

In so many ways sports are a cruel endeavor.

BEAT the other team. CRUSH your opponent.

Then line up of the sportsmanship handshakes after it’s all over.

Play like nothing else in the world matters when the clock’s running, then look forward to the next game.

From rec-league to the NBA Hall of Fame, that’s what you hope for every player.

Jordan Bell, the new Bell Helicopter, just showed everyone what that looks like in real time during March Madness.

And he wears The Green.

Just like Bill Russell.

jordan bell

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About David Gillaspie


  1. Mark Mullins says:

    good stuff

    • David Gillaspie says:

      The problem comparing players and eras is the mismatch. But not with Bill Russell and Jordan Bell.


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