Bill Russell: NBA legend (*88*) civil rights activist Bill Russell dies at 88

“It is with a really heavy coronary heart that we want to cross alongside to all of Bill’s buddies, followers, & followers,” the assertion reads.

“Bill Russell, probably the most prolific winner in American sports activities historical past, handed away peacefully right this moment at age 88, along with his spouse, Jeannine, by his aspect. Arrangements for his memorial service will likely be introduced quickly.”

In addition to his sporting achievements, Russell was certainly one of sport’s main civil rights activists (*88*) marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. He additionally supported the long-lasting boxer Muhammad Ali in his opposition to being drafted into navy service.
Former US President Barack Obama took to social media to reward Russell’s contribution to each basketball (*88*) society.

“Today, we misplaced an enormous. As tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far increased — each as a participant (*88*) as an individual,” he mentioned.

“Perhaps greater than anybody else, Bill knew what it took to win (*88*) what it took to steer. On the courtroom, he was the best champion in basketball historical past. Off of it, he was a civil rights trailblazer — marching with Dr. King (*88*) standing with Muhammad Ali.

“For many years, Bill endured insults (*88*) vandalism, however by no means let it cease him from talking up for what’s proper. I discovered a lot from the best way he performed, the best way he coached, (*88*) the best way he lived his life. Michelle (*88*) I ship our like to Bill’s household, (*88*) everybody who admired him.”

Russell gained 11 championships with the Celtics, together with eight straight from 1959 to 1966. He was a five-time NBA MVP (*88*) a 12-time All-Star.

As a coach for the Celtics, he led Boston to 2 titles, turning into the primary Black head coach to win an NBA championship.

“Bill’s two state championships in highschool provided a glimmer of the incomparable run of pure staff accomplishment to return: twice an NCAA champion; captain of a gold-medal-winning US Olympic staff; 11 instances an NBA champion; (*88*) at the helm for 2 NBA championships as the primary black head coach of any North American skilled sports activities staff,” the household assertion continued.

“Along the best way, Bill earned a string of particular person awards that stands unprecedented because it went unmentioned by him. In 2009, the award for the NBA Finals most beneficial participant was renamed after two-time Hall of Famer because the ‘Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.’

“Bill’s spouse, Jeannine, (*88*) his many buddies (*88*) household thanks for conserving Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you may relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark giggle as he delighted in explaining the true story behind how these moments unfolded. And we hope every of us can discover a new method to act or converse up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified (*88*) at all times constructive dedication to precept. That could be one final, (*88*) lasting, win for our beloved #6. “

The Celtics issued an announcement praising Russell (*88*) his contribution to each the staff (*88*) the game as an entire.

“To be the best champion in your sport, to revolutionize the best way the sport is performed, (*88*) to be a societal chief all at as soon as appears unthinkable, however that’s who Bill Russell was,” the assertion learn.

“Bill Russell’s DNA is woven by means of each ingredient of the Celtics group, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of staff rewards over particular person glory, to a dedication to social justice (*88*) civil rights off the courtroom. Our ideas are along with his household as we mourn his passing (*88*) rejoice his huge legacy in basketball, Boston, (*88*) past.”

Fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan — broadly thought-about to be the best basketball participant of all time — mentioned, “Bill Russell was a pioneer — as a participant, as a champion, because the NBA’s first Black head coach (*88*) as an activist. He paved the best way (*88*) set an instance for each Black participant who got here into the league after him, together with me. The world has misplaced a legend. My condolences to his household (*88*) could he relaxation in peace.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally shared his condolences.

“Bill Russell was the best champion in all of staff sports activities,” Silver mentioned in an announcement. “The numerous accolades that he earned for his storied profession with the Boston Celtics — together with a report 11 championships (*88*) 5 MVP awards — solely start to inform the story of Bill’s immense affect on our league (*88*) broader society.

“Bill stood for one thing a lot larger than sports activities: the values ​​of equality, respect (*88*) inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the peak of his athletic profession, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights (*88*) social justice, a legacy he handed on right down to generations of NBA gamers who adopted in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats (*88*) unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above all of it (*88*) remained true to his perception that everybody deserves to be handled with dignity.”

CNN’s Homero de la Fuente contributed to this report.

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