They say history is written by the victors. But not sports history. If it were, the winner of the LeBron James versus Michael Jordan debate for the NBA’s G.O.A.T. would be Bill Russell. In 1980, more than a decade after Russell retired, the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America named the legendary Boston Celtics center the “Greatest Player in the History of the NBA.” Today, Russell isn’t even in the conversation. Most pundits don’t regard him as the best big man (Wilt Chamberlain versus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), while many don’t even consider him the best Celtic (Larry Bird). True, the game…

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