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NBA Legend Bill Russell Dead At 88

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Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, who won 11 championships in 13 seasons, has died his family announced today. He was 88. His family posted a message on social media that said:

“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 recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded.

“And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or 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.”

“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.”

According to AMNY: “Russell played center professionally from 1956 to 1969, and led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA Championships — more than any other player in the history of the league. 

“He won 5 Most Valuable Player awards, and helped propel the NBA into the national spotlight with his star power and winning acumen.”

According to ESPN:

“Over a 15-year period, beginning with his junior year at the University of San Francisco, Russell had the most remarkable career of any player in the history of team sports. At USF, he was a two time All-American, won two straight NCAA championships and led the team to 55 consecutive wins. And he won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.

“During his 13 years in Boston, he carried the Celtics to the NBA Finals 12 times, winning the championship 11 times. 

“The one year the Celtics lost, in 1958 to the St. Louis Hawks, the series was tied 2-2 when Russell got hurt and was hospitalized. The Celtics lost the next two games by a total of three points.”