SuperSonics hire Bill Russell on May 11, 1973.

  • By Dan Johnson
  • Posted 3/06/2001
  • Essay 3059
On May 11, 1973, NBA legend Bill Russell is hired to coach the Seattle SuperSonics after the team suffers through a dismal 26-56 season in 1972-73. Russell's experience includes three seasons as player-coach of the Boston Celtics, who won two championships with him at the helm. (Boston won a total of 11 trophies with Russell on the roster. He was arguably the greatest center in NBA [National Basketball Association] history.)

In Russell's second season (1974-75) as head coach, the SuperSonics reached the playoffs for the first time in team history. In the first round, Seattle disposed of the Detroit Pistons, but fell to the Golden State Warriors, four games to two, in the conference semifinals.

Russell led the team to the postseason again in 1975-76, but was let go after the 1976-77 season in which the team failed to reach the playoffs with only a 41-41 record.

Sources: (; Seattle SuperSonics 1999-2000 Media Guide ed. by Marc Moquin (Seattle: Full House Sports & Entertainment, 1999); The Sporting News Official NBA Register, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Bonavita, Mark Broussard, and Brendan Roberts (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998); The Sporting News Official NBA Guide, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Broussard and Craig Carter (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998).

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