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Today in History: Russell Named Player-Coach 10.15.08 at 7:18 am ET
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42 years ago today, Bill Russell made history when he became the first African-American head coach in the NBA. Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics on October 15, 1966. The Celtics started the ’66-’67 season 10-1 and finished 60-21 before falling to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Russell coached the Celtics to back-to-back NBA Championships the following two seasons and left his post in Boston with a 162-83 record. He averaged nearly 20 rebounds and 12 points in just over 40 minutes per game as a player-coach.

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