I was never a sports fan, let alone a big basketball fan, but I knew of Bill Russell. How could anyone not know that Bill Russell was a multiple NBA champion who was nothing but business about the business of basketball?

Russell was all-in for civil rights. He had no patience at all for racial abuse. Despite the love he felt from his Celtic teammates, his relationship with Boston Celtics fans was often openly hostile because of their abject racism.

Russell’s accomplishments include:

  • Boston Celtics center from 1956 to 1969
  • Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player
  • Twelve-time NBA All-Star
  • 11-time NBA championships during his 13-year career
  • Twelve-time NBA All-Star
  • NBA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Two-time NCAA champion
  • Led the San Francisco Dons to two consecutive NCAA championships
  • Captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
  • Two-time NBA champion coach
  • One of the greatest basketball players of all time

Bill Russell was eighty-eight years old. May the ancestors welcome him warmly.

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