Bill Russell, legend of the Boston Celtics, died: the most successful player in NBA history was 88 years old

The most successful player in NBA history, the man who more than any other embodied the spirit of the Boston Celtics, one of the most glorious franchises in American sport, a true legend of world basketball. The world of basketball mourns the passing of Bill Russell, one of the icons of the National Basketball Association and above all an extraordinary African American, a symbol of the fight against racism and capable with his battles and his constant example of being an extraordinary example in the work of raising awareness and promotion on a dynamic that, unfortunately, it remains a scourge of our society. To communicate the sad news of the death of the 88-year-old legendary Boston Celtics star was his wife Jeannine who remained by her husband’s side until the last moment and who declared him ‘the most successful man in the history of American sport, both disappeared peacefully ‘.

Born in Monroe (Louisiana), on February 12, 1934, Russell from his youth has combined his name with the concept of victory, first reaping successes at high school and collegiate level (two NCAA titles with the University of San Francisco also corroborated by a crazy record of 55 consecutive victories) and then at a professional level in the Celtics jersey, a franchise that thanks to his baskets, rebounds, blocks and priceless defensive plays has won 11 NBA titles (8 consecutive) between 1956 and 1969. Russell – who in his He also boasts a gold medal at the Olympics and two titles as head coach, the first African American to fill this role and to achieve this goal in this capacity – in 2011 he had also had the honor of receiving from the hands of the President of the United States. Barack Obama the Medal of Freedom, the highest recognition of civic values, for his off-the-field commitment against racial discrimination. In memory of him in 2009 the NBA had also decided to name the most coveted individual award for each player, the MVP of the NBA Finals.


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For me, the most important part of winning is joy. You can win without joy, but winning without joy is like eating in a four-star restaurant when you are not hungry. Joy is a current of energy that radiates into your body, like chlorophyll or sunlight, which fills you and naturally makes you want to do your best. ” [Bill Russell]

Adam Silver: “The greatest champion in team sport history”

Commissioner Adam Silver was among the first to comment and pay his heartfelt tribute to the memory of Russell, who remarked how America and basketball today lose not only the greatest champion in the history of team sports but above all a man that transcended the values ​​of sport.

Bill Russell was the greatest champion in team sport history. The countless achievements he has earned in his career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 titles and 5 MVP awards – tell only the slightest bit of the story of Bill’s immense impact on our league and society at large. Bill Russell represented something greater than sport: the values ​​of equality, respect and inclusion that he imprinted in the DNA of our league. At the peak of his career, Bill made himself heard strongly for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed on to the generations of NBA players who followed him. Through mockery, threats and incredible adversity, Bill has risen above all, remaining true to his thought that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. I appreciated my friendship with Bill: I called him our Babe Ruth, because of the way he had transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and an excellent teammate: his influence will be felt on the NBA forever”.

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