Bob Brannum was my body guard on the court. He was 6'-6 and built like a bulldog.
People have been killing because of racial differences since the time of Adam and Eve, but in this country racism has been primarily aimed at African Americans.
Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful at anything you put your mind to
The NBA wasn't a big deal at that time, so it wasn't really in my career plans.
I was the original socially depraved shy ghetto kid.
Race wasn't an issue. My family was French, but Yorkville was a melting pot of races and cultures.
We lived in Yorkville until 1940, at which point we moved into the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens.
Back then every small town had a gym, and if itseated more than 2,000 then we'd be interested in playing in it.
I won the city scoring championship as a senior.
Russell joined the team in December, 1956, following the Olympics.
We lived in Yorkville, which is located on the East End of Manhattan. It's further east than Hell's Kitchen, and back then it was the kind of place where the roaches and cockroaches were big enough to carry away small children.
Indiana gets credit for having the most rabid basketball fans in the union, but Maine is a very, very active basketball state.
That seemed to be the case with most of the teams based in the smaller towns - the fans were more rabid, and they wanted to literally kill the opposition.
We played every night. Sometimes we'd stay overnight after a game, but we'd usually drive on to our next destination.
But as a coach I wanted to keep things from being too complicated.
It also didn't take me long to decide that Tri-Cities wasn't for me, and that I wasn't going to go there to play basketball.
The MVP award was very satisfying in terms of personal accomplishments, but the championship was the most important thing of all.
We ran an up-tempo, transition-style of game at Boston College - very similar to what we ran when I played for Arnold.
Cooper was my road roommate, and also happened to be the first African American player drafted by a National Basketball Association team.
Kerner decided to trade my rights to the Chicago Stags, which sounded better to me than Tri-Cities, but the Stags folded up almost immediately.
There were riots in just about every game we played with Syracuse.
You have to remember that coaching wasn't sophisticated back then - you didn't have the camps, clinics and all the technical advances that are available today - so from that standpoint, playing with a cast on my arm was a fortunate event in my life.
French was my first language.
My biggest win was getting the meal money bumped from $5 to $7.
These days I smile benignly at the fights that I see in NBA games. There aren't any broken noses or black eyes, which happened quite often when I played.
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