Celtics Legend And Activist Bill Russell Passes Away At 88

NBA: USA TODAY Sports-Archive
Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell passed away today at the age of 88. Russell’s wife Jeannine was by his side when he passed away peacefully. The announcement was posted to his Twitter account this afternoon. Aside from helping pave the way for the NBA, Russell was also a pioneer for activism on and off of the court. Russell boycotted a 1961 exhibition game to aid in unmasking longly dealt with discrimination following the assassination of Medgar Evans. Russell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 for his work in activism.

Russell was a pioneer in basketball. He won two NCAA titles, a record 11 NBA Championships, and Captained a gold-winning 1956 US Olympics team. Russell made history as the first African-American head coach in the NBA when he took over for the Celtics in 1966. Russell would lead the Celtics to two championships as their head coach, bringing his total playing and coaching championships to 13. In 2009 the NBA announced that the Finals MVP Award would be renamed as the “Bill Russell NBA Final Most Valuable Player Award”.

Bill Russell was a living icon that stood for so many when they couldn’t stand for themselves, he will be dearly missed. Per ESPN, his wife Jeannine has stated that memorial details will be released when prepared.

The New York Post Has More HERE.