Saturday, August 13, 2022

NBA Legend Bill Russell Has Died – He was 88

Bill Russell - Getty
Bill Russell – Getty

*The NBA has produced some legendary players and Bill Russell was one of them. Today we learned that Russell, 88, has died

The legendary Boston Celtics star big man, who won 11 championships and five league MVP awards. The truly sad news was announced on Twitter.

Russell died “peacefully” with his wife, Jeannine, at his side, a statement posted on social media said. Arrangements for his memorial service will be announced soon, the statement said.

“But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life. From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to unmask too-long-tolerated discrimination, to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp in the combustible wake of Medgar Evans’ assassination, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom … Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change,” the statement read.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Russell “the greatest champion in all of team sports” in a statement Sunday.

“I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever,” Silver said.

NBA Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas posted on Twitter: “Rest in peace Bill Russell you were everything we all aspired to be, your winning spirit will live forever my friend. Thank you for your words of wisdom.”

Until Michael Jordan’s exploits in the 1990s, Russell was considered by many as the greatest player in NBA history.

Russell was awarded the Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2011, the nation’s highest civilian honor. And in 2017, the NBA awarded him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Russell was named the NBA’s most valuable player five times and was an all-star 12 times. The 6-foot-9 center changed the way defense was played in the league.

In 2013, Boston honored Russell with a statue at City Hall Plaza.

May he rest in peace.




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