> World mourns as NBA legend Bill Russell dies at 88 NBA

World mourns as NBA legend Bill Russell dies at 88

World mourns as NBA legend Bill Russell dies at 88

  • Celtics
Aug 01
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

Basketball Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell has died at the age of 88. The Russell family confirmed the news on Sunday and posted a statement on social media.

The Boston Celtics legend reportedly died “peacefully with his wife, Jeannine, at his side” and the details about his funeral will be arranged and announced soon.

The family did not state the cause of death, but many believe it was because of a long illness since Russell could not come to present the NBA Finals MVP trophy in June.

“Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded,” part of the statement read.

“And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified and always constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.”

Russell is survived by his wife, Jeannine Russell, alongside three children from a previous marriage: daughter Karen Russell and sons William Jr. and Jacob.

"As tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far higher -- both as a player and as a person," Obama said in a statement. "Perhaps more than anyone else, Bill knew what it took to win and what it took to lead."

- Barrack Obama

"Bill Russell was a pioneer -- as a player, as a champion, as the NBA's first Black head coach and as an activist," Jordan, who now serves as Charlotte Hornets chairman, said in a statement. "He paved the way and set an example for every Black player who came into the league after him, including me. The world has lost a legend. My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace."

- Michael Jordan

Defense! Defense!

Russell revolutionized NBA defensive concepts as a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. His career rebounding average was 22.5 per game, and he led the league four times in rebounding. In one game he had 51 rebounds, two others he had 49 rebounds, and he had 1,000 or more rebounds in 12 straight seasons. Over the course of his career, Russell also averaged 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game.


"I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Silver said, as per ESPN. "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."

- Adam Silver

The Greatest of Champions


Russell is considered to be the final word winner. In a 13-year span, he won 11 NBA titles, including eight consecutively from 1959 to 1966. Among his NBA Finals achievements are championships, appearances, games played, rebounds, and minutes.

During his time at the College of San Francisco, he also won two NCAA titles and a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

With 11 championships, Russell is tied with Henry Richard, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, for the most in NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL history.

Bill Russell - Bill Russell in the Green Room (retouched)
  • Boston Celtics

    The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston.

  • Bill Russell

    William Felton Russell is an American former professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969.