"I determined early in my career the only important statistic is the final score. And so I dedicated my career to playing, to make sure that, as often as possible, we were always on the positive side of the final score."
At the press conference announcing that the NBA Finals MVP trophy would be named for Russell, he added:
"The only awards I've ever cherished have been team awards. Most of the time when you get an award, you say 'I want to thank my teammates for helping me.' But I want to thank my teammates for letting me help them because my agenda was to win games, nothing else. And my teammates allowed me to let them do their best. So this award is for the affirmation of team play."