Yesterday evening, the Boston Celtics suffered a gut-wrenching loss to the organization by losing one of the greatest basketball players ever to play this game, reported ESPN. Boston Celtics center Bill Russell was not only a phenom on the court but also an icon off of it. In his lifetime, he won 11 overall titles, eight straight; arguably one of the most prolific winners in sports history. To tender many hearts, sources confirm, that he died “peacefully” with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. Russell had been battling a long time illness, it began affecting him so much that he couldn’t present the NBA Finals MVP trophy this year. His family released a statement on his behalf addressing his death and his long beautiful life.
An announcement… pic.twitter.com/KMJ7pG4R5Z
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) July 31, 2022
“But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life,” the statement said. “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 [Evers’] 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. He also was a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness, and thoughtful change.
“… And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified, and always a constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.”
Players Around League are Distraught About the Boston Celtics Legend Passing
The five-time MVP was a relentless defender and even more explosive scorer of basketball. Throughout his career, he accumulated over 20,000 rebounds and averaged 23 points for a career. Not to mention, he led the league in rebounds four times, per Boston Globe. He’s done things that won’t ever be replicated in the NBA like having a 51-rebound game. Several stars around the league were in despair over hearing the news of Russell’s death. Naturally, Boston Celtic players were saddened. However, other iconic figures like Michael Jordan and former President Barack Obama left kind words.
“Bill Russell was a pioneer — as a player, as a champion, as the NBA’s first Black head coach, and as an activist,” Jordan said in a statement. “He paved the way and set an example for every Black player who came into the league after him, including me. The world has lost a legend. My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.”
“Today, we lost a giant,” Obama said in a statement Sunday. “As tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far higher — both as a player and as a person.”