Reaction from the basketball world and beyond on the death of the great NBA champion and 11-time champion Bill Russell:
“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades he won for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – are just beginning. to tell of Bill’s immense impact on our league and society at large.” – NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
“Today we lost a giant. As great as Bill Russell is, his legacy goes way higher – both as a player and as a person. – Chairman barack obama said on Twitter.
“America’s promise is that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated the same throughout our lives. We have never fully delivered on that promise, but Bill Russell made sure we never deviate from it.
“By August 1963, he had won six of 11 NBA championships during his 13 years in the league with the Boston Celtics, a defining career that would include five regular season most valuable player awards, a Olympic gold and serve as the first black coach of any major sports league in America.
“But on the historic day of August 28, 1963, he stood there on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as a great champion of freedom, equality and justice as Dr. King fulfilled a dream for the Nation.
“That was Bill Russell. From a childhood in segregated Louisiana to a career on the biggest sporting stages during the height of the civil rights movement, Bill faced the hostility and hatred of racism rooted in all aspects of American life. Yet he never gave up. Throughout his life, he forced us to face hard truths. And on this day, there are generations of Americans who reflect on what he meant to them as someone who played for the essential truth that every person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
“Bill Russell is one of the greatest athletes in our history – an all-time champion of champions, a good man and a great American who did everything he could to fulfill the promise of America for All Americans.” – President Joe Biden.
“Being the greatest champion in your sport, revolutionizing the way the game is played and being a leader of society all at once seems unthinkable, but that’s what Bill Russell was. Bill was a champion like no other in the history of team sports – an 11-time NBA champion, including eight consecutive titles, a five-time MVP, an Olympic gold medalist and the NBA’s first black head coach. . – the Boston Celtics said in a statement.
“Rest in Peace Bill Russell, you were everything we all aspired to, your winning spirit will live on forever my friend. Thank you for your words of wisdom. — Hall of Fame Isiah Thomas said on Twitter.
“He was one of the first athletes on the front lines to fight for social justice, fairness, equality and civil rights. That’s why I admired and loved him so much. During our friendship, he always reminded me of the need to improve things in the black community. Magic Johnson Hall of Fame tweeted.
“Thank you for being a trailblazer, a trailblazer Thank you for setting the bar, for your kind words of wisdom, Thank you for that great laugh you had. I can go on all day about what you mean to me. Today ‘today is a sad day for the NBA family, you will be forever missed #6” – Celtics great Paul Pierce said on Twitter.
“Bill Russell was a trailblazer – as a player, as a champion, as the NBA’s first black head coach, and as an activist. He paved the way and set an example for all the black players who came into the league after him, including me. The world has lost a legend…may he rest in peace. — Michael Jordan, Hall of Famer and majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, said in a statement.
“Bill Russell was bigger than basketball, even though he was one of the greatest players of all time. He was a civil and human rights advocate before it was fashionable, in fact when he first Done, it was risky! A true giant on and off the pitch, may he rest in peace and power!” — Reverend Al Sharpton said on Twitter.
“RIP Bill Russell. You got me in the position I am in today and you changed not just the league but the world. Forever 6.” — Celtics player Grant Williams said on Twitter.
“People like Bill, he’s a bridge to all the struggle this generation has been through to get to this point. If everyone could take a little of what Bill Russell has done his whole life, we’d be a better world. things he did with Kareem and Jim Brown and moving it all forward with equality They were the first to do it when it meant giving up something with Muhammad Ali Giving up the things they loved doing for the sake of this country.—Diana Taurasi, Guardian of Phoenix Mercury.
“RIP Bill Russell, a giant in every sense of the word – athletic, civil rights activist, selfless – the whole RIP champ!” – Tennis great Martina Navratilova said on Twitter.
“Bill Russell was a one-of-a-kind activist athlete who made everyone around him better on and off the court. He had a career of firsts and paved the way for so many others. admired all my life and he had a huge influence on my career and my life. He was the ultimate leader, the ultimate team player and the ultimate champion. — The great tennis player Billie Jean King
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