Bill Russell NBA Legend Died At Age 88

Bill Russell Died At Age of 88, Celtics Legend And 11-time NBA Champion

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Bill Russell was a famous NBA player, and his family said on Sunday that he had died. He was 88.

Sunday afternoon, his family posted the news on Russell’s official Twitter page. In the post, Russell’s friends and family talked about how athletic he was and how successful he had been as a social activist.

The statement says, “It is with a very heavy heart that we want to tell all of Bill’s friends, fans, and followers.” “Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. Arrangements for his memorial service will be announced soon.”

“Bill’s two state championships in high school offered a glimmer of the incomparable run of pure team accomplishment to come: twice an NCAA champion; captain of a gold-medal winning US Olympic team; 11 times an NBA champion; and at the helm for two NBA championships as the first black head coach of any North American professional sports team.”

The statement also said that Russell skipped an exhibition game in 1961 to bring attention to discrimination and helped start Mississippi’s first basketball camp for people of different races. In 2011, when Barack Obama was president, he gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.

Former president Barack Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to basketball great Bill Russell in 2011.
Former president Barack Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to basketball great Bill Russell in 2011.

“Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded,” She Continued

Russell played for the Boston Celtics for 13 years and won 11 championships while he was there. The Boston Globe said that Russell was put in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1975 and as a coach in September 2021.

In a statement to ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Russell “the greatest champion in all of the team sports.”

“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’s statement continued.

Isaiah Thomas, who is in the Hall of Fame, gave Russell a shout-out 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.”

Stephen A. Smith, a sports journalist, called Russell the “greatest champion we’ve ever seen” in a separate tweet.

“BILL RUSSELL. An activist, a pioneer, a humanitarian. He made the world better for us all,” Smith added.

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