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In King Of The Court by Aram Goudsouzian he was quoted saying "From my very first year I thought of myself as playing for the Celtics not for Boston. " After his retirement he described the Boston press as corrupt and racist; in response Boston sports journalist Larry Claflin claimed that Russell himself was the real racist. In the playoffs however Russell and his Celtics achieved upsets over the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks to earn a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Frequent battles with racism left Russell with a long-standing contempt for fans and journalists. Listed as between 6 ft 9 in (2. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics becoming the first African American NBA coach.