“It’s with a really heavy coronary heart we want to cross alongside to all of Invoice’s associates, followers, & followers,” the assertion reads. “Invoice Russell, probably the most prolific winner in American sports activities historical past, handed away peacefully as we speak at age 88, along with his spouse, Jeannine, by his facet. Preparations for his memorial service can be introduced quickly.
“Invoice’s two state championships in highschool supplied a glimmer of the incomparable run of pure crew accomplishment to come back: twice an NCAA champion; captain of a gold-medal-winning US Olympic crew; 11 instances an NBA champion; and on the helm for 2 NBA championships as the primary black head coach of any North American skilled sports activities crew.
“Alongside the way in which, Invoice earned a string of particular person awards that stands unprecedented because it went unmentioned by him. In 2009, the award for the NBA Finals most useful participant was renamed after two- time Corridor of Famer because the ‘Invoice Russell NBA Finals Most Helpful Participant Award.’
“Invoice’s spouse, Jeannine, and his many family and friends thanks for conserving Invoice in your prayers. Maybe you will relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark snort as he delighted in explaining the actual story behind how these moments unfolded. And we hope every of us can discover a new option to act or communicate up with Invoice’s uncompromising, dignified and all the time constructive dedication to precept. That may be one final, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.”
Russell gained 11 championships with the Celtics, together with eight straight from 1959 to 1966. He was a five-time NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star.
As a coach for the Celtics, he led Boston to 2 titles, turning into the primary Black head coach to win an NBA championship.
“To be the best champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way in which the sport is performed, and to be a societal chief appears unthinkable, however that’s who Invoice Russell was,” the assertion learn.
“Invoice Russell’s DNA is woven by each component of the Celtics group, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of crew rewards over particular person glory, to a dedication to social justice and civil rights off the courtroom. Our ideas are along with his household as we mourn his passing and have a good time his huge legacy in basketball, Boston, and past.”
Fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan — extensively thought-about to be the best basketball participant of all time — stated, “Invoice Russell was a pioneer — as a participant, as a champion, because the NBA’s first Black head coach and as an activist. He paved the way in which and set an instance for each Black participant who got here into the league after him, together with me. The world has misplaced a legend. My condolences to his household and will he relaxation in peace.”
“For many years, Invoice endured insults and vandalism, however by no means let it cease him from talking up for what’s proper. I realized a lot from the way in which he performed, the way in which he coached, and the way in which he lived his life. Michelle and I ship our like to Invoice’s household, and everybody who admired him.”
“Invoice Russell was the best champion in all of crew sports activities,” Silver stated in a press release. “The numerous accolades that he earned for his storied profession with the Boston Celtics — together with a report 11 championships and 5 MVP awards — solely start to inform the story of Invoice’s immense influence on our league and broader society.
“Invoice stood for one thing a lot larger than sports activities: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. On the peak of his athletic profession, Invoice advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he handed right down to generations of NBA gamers who adopted in his footsteps. By means of the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Invoice rose above all of it and remained true to his perception that everybody deserves to be handled with dignity.”
CNN’s Homero de la Fuente contributed to this report.