Basketball and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell dies aged 88

American basketball legend Bill Russell, an eleven-time NBA champion with the Celtics, died on Sunday at the age of 88, his family announced on his Twitter account. “Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully today at the age of 88, with his wife Jeannine at his bedside“, indicates the family of the one who is considered one of the greatest players in the history of basketball.

The first black player to reach superstar status in the NBA, Russell has, in addition to his eleven NBA championship titles, an Olympic gold medal, won in 1956. He was the first black American to coach a team of a major North American championship, notably by leading “his” Celtics from 1966 to 1969.


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Outstanding advocate, on the court and for the rights of African Americans

Best known for his defensive qualities, from the height of his 2.08 m, with a wingspan of 2.24 m, Russell spent his entire NBA career, from 1956 to 1969, under the green jersey of the Boston Celtics, with whom he played twelve finals for eleven titles, a record for an athlete in a major North American professional championship, tied with Henri Richard of the National Ice Hockey League.

As soon as his death was announced, the NBA paid tribute to the “greatest champion of any team sport“. “Bill stood for something much bigger than sport: the values ​​of equality, respect and inclusion that he inscribed in our league’s DNA.“, NBA boss Adam Silver said in a statement. “At the height of his athletic career, Bill vigorously championed civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed on to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps.“added Adam Silver.

Bill Russell

Credit: Getty Images


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