Celtic legend Bill Russell, from his autobiography Second Wind:
Every so often a Celtic game would heat up so that it would became more than a physical or even mental game, and would be magical. That feeling is difficult to describe, and I certainly never talked about it when I was playing. When it happened I could feel my play rise to a new level. It came rarely, and would last anywhere from five minutes to a whole quarter. Three or four plays were not enough to get it going. It would surround not only me and the other Celtics but also the players on the other team, and even the referees. To me, the key was that both teams had to be playing at their peaks. … It never started with a hot streak by a single player, or with a breakdown of one team's defense. It usually began when three or four of the 10 guys on the floor would heat up; they would be the catalysts, and they were almost always the stars in the league. … The feeling would spread to the other guys, and we'd all levitate. Then the game would just take off, and there'd be a natural ebb and flow that reminded you of how rhythmic and musical basketball is supposed to be. I'd find myself thinking, 'This is it. I want this to keep going,' and I'd actually be rooting for the other team. When their players made spectacular moves, I wanted their shots to go into the bucket; that's how pumped up I'd be. I'd be out there talking to the other Celtics, encouraging them and pushing myself harder, but at the same time part of me would be pulling for the other players too.
I hereby declare Mr. Russell to be an Honourary Founding Spirit of Global Village Basketball.
(via Eric Neel/ESPN)