Out of all the fantastic players who wore a Celtics jersey, Bill Russell may be the greatest of them all.
Besides being an 11x champion, he was among the earliest pioneers of the sport and paved the road to success for many players who came after him.
So it's no surprise that after news of his death reached the public on Sunday, the team he once played so well for issued a long and heartfelt statement honoring the legend:
To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was.
Bill was a champion unlike any other in the history of team sports - an 11-time NBA champion, including winning eight consecutive titles, a five-time MVP, an Olympic Gold Medalist and the NBA’s first Black head coach.
Bill Russell‘s DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of team rewards over individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights off the court.
Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn his passing and celebrate his enormous legacy in basketball, Boston, and beyond.
Bill Russell was truly a game-changer for the sports world. His excellence inspired many black athletes to chase their own dreams and his commitment to moral values, sportsmanship, and hard work is being carried on through the many lives he touched during his life.
Of course, no place on earth has felt his impact more than Boston, which is a city as devoted to its teams, and its stars, just as much as anywhere in the world.
No doubt, the Celtics franchise will continue to celebrate and honor his career as the guy who really started it all for them.