Sports

Boston Celtics Legend Bill Russell Has Passed Away At Age 88

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The NBA world has received terrible news today, as Bill Russell has sadly left this world. The Boston Celtics legend had lived a passionate life, full of success and struggles on and off the court. Winning 11 championships, and becoming the winningest player in NBA history, the former center was a massive legend in the association.

After his career was over, he became a head coach, before taking different paths, but being present in the NBA community always. One of the biggest legends of this sport is no longer with us, as it was announced on his Twitter account today.

It is with a very heavy heart we would like to pass along to 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. Along the way, Bill earned a string of individual awards that stands unprecedented as it went unmentioned by him. In 2009, the award for the NBA Finals most valuable player was renamed after two-time Hall of Famer as the “Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award”… But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life. 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 Evans’ assassination, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change. 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 real his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind those moments unfolded. And we hope each of us can find a new way to act of 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.

The NBA world is devastated after learning about this. Bill Russell left a huge mark on the game, becoming a winner on the court, but also fighting for the right things when he didn’t have a basketball in his hands. It’s fair to say he lived a terrific life, full of emotions and more joy than grief.

We can always remember him as that happy man that brought joy to everybody with his iconic laugh and his jokes on the court or on social media. This is a tough loss for the community, who had nothing but love and respect for him. Rest in peace, Bill.