NBA legend Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and the league’s first black coach, died “peacefully” on Sunday, according to a family statement from Verified Twitter account. He was 88 years old.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we would like to pass this on to all of Bill’s friends, fans and followers,” the statement read. “Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in the history of American sports, passed away peacefully today at the age of 88, with his wife, Jeanine, at his side. Arrangements for his memorial service will be announced soon.
“My two high school Bell state championships provided a glimpse into the unrivaled path of upcoming pure team accomplishments: two-time NCAA champion; two-time NCAA champion; gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic team captain; 11-time NBA champion; and two-time NBA champion as the first black coach of any A professional sports team in North America.
Along the way, Bill received a string of singles awards that he never had because he didn’t mention them. In 2009, the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award was renamed twice after the Hall of Famer as the “Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Award”. Valuable Player”.
“Bill’s wife, Jennine, and many of his friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you’ll relive a moment or two of the golden moments he gave us, or remember his special laugh as he delighted in explaining the true story behind how those moments happened. We hope that every one can.” From finding a new way to act or speak with Belle’s uncompromising, generous and always constructive commitment to principles. That would be a final and lasting win for our beloved #6.”
Russell won 11 championships with the Celtics, including eight consecutive championships from 1959 to 1966. He was the NBA Most Valuable Player five times and 12 times All-Stars.
As a Celtics coach, he led Boston to two titles, becoming the first black coach to win an NBA championship.
The Celtics released a statement praising Russell and his contribution to both the team and the sport as a whole.
“Being the greatest champion in your sport, revolutionizing the way the game is played, and being a community leader at the same time seems unimaginable, but that’s Bill Russell,” the statement read.
“Bill Russell’s DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to celebrating team rewards for individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights out of court. Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn his passing and celebrate his immense legacy. In basketball, Boston and beyond.”
Fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan – widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time – said, “Bill Russell was a pioneer – both as a player and as a champion, as the first black coach in the NBA and as an activist. He paved the way and set an example for every black player who came along. To the league after him, including me. The world has lost a legend. My condolences to his family and may God have mercy on him.”
Former US President Barack Obama to social media To pay tribute to Russell’s contribution to basketball and society: “Today, we lost a giant. As high as Bill Russell is, his legacy rises to an even higher level – as a player and as a person. Perhaps more than anyone else, Bill knew what it took to win and what it took to lead. On the court, he was The greatest champion in basketball history.Far from that, he was a pioneer in the field of civil rights – he walked with Dr. King and stood with Muhammad Ali.
For decades, Bill has endured insults and vandalism, but that hasn’t stopped him from speaking out what is right. I learned a lot from the way he played, the way he trained and the way he lived his life. Michelle and I send our love to the Bell family, and everyone who admires him.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also Share your condolences.
“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports,” Silver said in a statement. “The countless accolades he has received for his career with the Boston Celtics – including 11 record championships and five Player of the Year awards – only begin to tell the story of Bale’s tremendous impact on our league and the broader community.
“Bill championed something far greater than sport: the values of equality, respect, and inclusion that he imprinted in the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bale vigorously advocated for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he has passed on to generations of NBA players who have followed in his footsteps. From Through taunts, threats, and unimaginable adversity, Bell has risen above all else and has remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.”