The game came easily to him. From the first time he picked up a basketball, to later earning All-America honors in both high school and college, Bailey Howell possessed a gift that very quickly set him apart from his peers. He was a natural on the court, at home within its geometric confines, a player so skilled that at the time of his retirement from the NBA in 1971, Howell ranked among the league’s top 10 leaders in nine statistical categories. But statistics only tell part of the story. Howell, who grew up near the cotton fields surrounding Middleton, Tennessee, never made himself bigger than the team. Regardless of his star power, he was always willing to subjugate his considerable game for the bigger cause. Such characteristics explain how Howell, a six-time NBA All-Star, blended perfectly with Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, winning two world championships as the curtain closed on arguably the greatest sports dynasty ever.