The NBA has received terrible news today, as Bill Russell has sadly passed away. His family announced the bad news on social media, sharing a terrific message to pay homage to one of the most influential NBA players of all time.
This is shocking and sad news that came unexpectedly, with many people reacting to it. As the biggest winner in NBA history and a huge presence in social justice matters, Bill's passing has affected many folks around the world.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has released a statement regarding this event, celebrating everything Mr. Russell did in life, and explaining how much he respected and admired the former center.
"Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics - including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards - only begin to tell the story of Bill's immense impact on our league and broader society.
"Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.
"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.
"I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball's Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Jeannine, his family and his many friends."
Bill Russell did so many things during his life. He fought against racial discrimination while being the superstar of the Boston Celtics, even facing racism from his own fans. He was very vocal against social injustices and helped a lot of people by calling out all the bad situations he witnessed. He was very successful on the court and used his platform to create a better reality for minorities.
There is so much to thank Bill for that words won't make any justice. It's sad that he's gone, but nobody can say he didn't live his life to the fullest, leaving a better world thanks to his crucial actions.