Bill Russell, Celtics legend and 11-time NBA champion, dies at 88
Bill Russell, an NBA legend who won a record 11 championships with the Boston Celtics and is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died on Sunday. He was 88.
Russell’s family announced his death in a statement, saying he died peacefully with his wife Jeannine by his side.
The 6’10” former center dominated the NBA over his 13-year career, winning five MVP awards and becoming a 12-time all-star between 1956 to 1969. He also coached the Celtics over the last three years of his playing career, leading the team to two more titles on top of the nine he secured as a player. He was the first Black head coach in the league.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Russell “stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league.”
“For nearly 35 years since Bill completed his trailblazing career as the league’s first Black head coach, we were fortunate to see him at every major NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP,” Silver said in a statement Sunday. “Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever.”