NBA legend Bill Russell dies aged 88

NBA legend Bill Russell dies aged 88

Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion, died Sunday at the age of 88.

This was announced by his family via their Twitter account. The cause of death was not released.

Russell is arguably one of the most decorated athletes in North American sports history, having helped the Boston Celtics win 11 titles in 13 years from 1956-1969. He was named an NBA MVP five times and a 12-time All-Star Team.

Only the late Henri Richard, an 11-time Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens, could boast that many titles.

Regarded as one of the best defensive players in his sport, Russell was also the first African American to captain a team in the major North American leagues. A two-time Player-Coaching Champion with the Celtics, he has been twice inducted into the Hall of Fame, as a player and as a coach.

During his playing career, he averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists. As a coach, he posted a 341-290 record with the Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings.


Aside from his exploits on the field, Russell also used his notoriety to advance the black cause. Among other things, he boycotted a preparatory game in 1961. In 2010 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.

“Bill’s wife Jeannine, family and friends thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers,” the statement said. Maybe you’ll relive a magical moment or two he gave us or remember his unique laugh.”

“We hope now that each of us can find a new way to behave or express ourselves according to the principles that are dear to Bill. It would be a definitive – and lasting – win for our beloved number 6.”