Initial reaction upon seeing this clip of Bill Russell jumping from near the free-throw line and over a defender for a layup: WHAT?
This clip just recently surfaced, which makes me wonder: Why isn't this a play we see running on a loop alongside things like MJ's switch-hands layup, Magic Johnson's skyhook or Larry Bird's steal?
There's almost an element of wondering if something's been added to it because it doesn't look right. The breathtaking speed and athleticism for a 6-foot-9 guy to fly over someone like that just doesn't compute.
The uploader of the video says this clip comes from 1956 when Russell was playing for the University of San Francisco. So it's not from the NBA. But honestly, it doesn't really matter to me because jumping over a human in live action is jumping over a human in live action no matter the level.
A lot of times when we evaluate greatest players, there's this addendum we put on players from the 1950s, 60s and even sometimes 70s. Yeah, but how would they do if they played now?
After seeing this clip, I'm pretty sure Bill Russell would do more than fine. He'd probably dominate everyone just like he did in his prime.