The NBA world lost a legend, as Bill Russell passed away on Sunday at the age of 88.
Bill Russell, the legendary player and coach for the Boston Celtics, passed away peacefully on Sunday at the age of 88.
Russell is known for being one of more prolific winners in all of professional sports. He won 11 NBA championships with the Celtics as a player and a coach. He won the NBA MVP award five times and was named to the All-Star team for 12 consecutive seasons. Russell was also the first Black head coach in NBA history.
“Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers,” the statement read. “Perhaps you’ll relive one of two of his golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded. And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified and always constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.”
NBA world mourns the loss of legend Bill Russell
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement following Russell’s passing, calling him “the ultimate warrior and consummate teammate” and “basketball’s Babe Ruth.” You can read Silver’s statement in full below, via ESPN’s Marc J. Spears:
Various members of the basketball world mourned Russell’s passing on Twitter, including current Celtics players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
While he was one of basketball’s legends on the court, he was an icon off of it for his civil rights activism . Back in 2011, Russell was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. In 2017, Russell received the NBA’s first Lifetime Achievement award.
Russell will go down as a champion on the court and off of it. We send our condolences to Russell’s family and friends during this time.