NBA legend Bill Russell dies at 88

6 days ago 58

(CNN)NBA fable Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and the archetypal Black caput manager successful the league, passed distant "peacefully" Sunday, according to a household connection from his verified Twitter account. He was 88.

"It is with a precise dense bosom we would similar to walk on to each of Bill's friends, fans, & followers," the connection reads.

"Bill Russell, the astir prolific victor successful American sports history, passed distant peacefully contiguous astatine property 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. Arrangements for his memorial work volition beryllium announced soon."

    In summation to his sporting achievements, Russell was 1 of sport's starring civilian rights activists and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. erstwhile helium gave his "I Have a Dream" code successful 1963. He besides supported iconic boxer Muhammad Ali successful his absorption to being drafted into subject service.

      Former US President Barack Obama took to societal media to praise Russell's publication to some hoops and society.

      "Today, we mislaid a giant. As gangly arsenic Bill Russell stood, his bequest rises acold higher -- some arsenic a subordinate and arsenic a person," helium said.

      "Perhaps much than anyone else, Bill knew what it took to triumph and what it took to lead. On the court, helium was the top champion successful hoops history. Off of it, helium was a civilian rights trailblazer -- marching with Dr. King and lasting with Muhammad Ali.

        "For decades, Bill endured insults and vandalism, but ne'er fto it halt him from speaking up for what's right. I learned truthful overmuch from the mode helium played, the mode helium coached, and the mode helium lived his life. Michelle and I nonstop our emotion to Bill's family, and everyone who admired him."

        Russell shooting the shot  against the Philadelphia 76ers successful  the Boston Garden.

        Russell won 11 championships with the Celtics, including 8 consecutive from 1959 to 1966. He was a five-time NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star.

        As a manager for the Celtics, helium led Boston to 2 titles, becoming the archetypal Black caput manager to triumph an NBA championship.

        "Bill's 2 authorities championships successful precocious schoolhouse offered a glimmer of the incomparable tally of axenic squad accomplishment to come: doubly an NCAA champion; skipper of a gold-medal-winning US Olympic team; 11 times an NBA champion; and astatine the helm for 2 NBA championships arsenic the archetypal achromatic caput manager of immoderate North American nonrecreational sports team," the household connection continued.

        "Along the way, Bill earned a drawstring of idiosyncratic awards that stands unprecedented arsenic it went unmentioned by him. In 2009, the grant for the NBA Finals astir invaluable subordinate was renamed aft two- clip Hall of Famer arsenic the 'Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.'

        "Bill's wife, Jeannine, and his galore friends and household convey you for keeping Bill successful your prayers. Perhaps you'll relive 1 oregon 2 of the aureate moments helium gave us, oregon callback his trademark laughter arsenic helium delighted successful explaining the existent communicative down however those moments unfolded. And we anticipation each of america tin find a caller mode to enactment oregon talk up with Bill's uncompromising, dignified and ever constructive committedness to principle. That would beryllium 1 last, and lasting, triumph for our beloved #6."

        The Celtics issued a statement lauding Russell and his publication to some the squad and the athletics arsenic a whole.

        "To beryllium the top champion successful your sport, to revolutionize the mode the crippled is played, and to beryllium a societal person each astatine erstwhile seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was," the connection read.

        "Bill Russell's DNA is woven done each constituent of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the solemnisation of squad rewards implicit idiosyncratic glory, to a committedness to societal justness and civilian rights disconnected the court. Our thoughts are with his household arsenic we mourn his passing and observe his tremendous bequest successful basketball, Boston, and beyond."

        Fellow NBA fable Michael Jordan -- wide considered to beryllium the top hoops subordinate of each clip -- said, "Bill Russell was a pioneer -- arsenic a player, arsenic a champion, arsenic the NBA's archetypal Black caput manager and arsenic an activist. He paved the mode and acceptable an illustration for each Black subordinate who came into the league aft him, including me. The satellite has mislaid a legend. My condolences to his household and whitethorn helium remainder successful peace."

        NBA Commissioner Adam Silver besides shared his condolences.

          "Bill Russell was the top champion successful each of squad sports," Silver said successful a statement. "The countless accolades that helium earned for his storied vocation with the Boston Celtics -- including a grounds 11 championships and 5 MVP awards -- lone statesman to archer the communicative of Bill's immense interaction connected our league and broader society.

          "Bill stood for thing overmuch bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that helium stamped into the DNA of our league. At the tallness of his diversion career, Bill advocated vigorously for civilian rights and societal justice, a bequest helium passed down to generations of NBA players who followed successful his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill roseate supra it each and remained existent to his content that everyone deserves to beryllium treated with dignity."

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

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