Chrismckradio 3:31 pm
Many consider the greatest NBA champion of all-time, 11-time champion Boston Celtics great Bill Russell passes away on Sunday at the age of 88. Russell's wife Jeannine was at his side, he died peacefully, according to reports.
During his NBA career as a player with the Boston Celtics, Russell guided his team to 12 NBA Finals appearances, and winning 11 of them.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Russell is the greatest champion in all of team sports.
Russell won MVP award 5 times, 12-time All-Star. His career stats are 21,620 rebounds, and scoring 22.5 rebounds, and 15.1 points per game. Russell had 51 rebounds in one game and 49 rebounds in two other games. He had 12 consecutive seasons with 1,000 or more rebounds. He revolutionized the game with his defensive and scoring prowess.
Russell stood at 6-foot-9, he gave up 5 inches to another NBA Hall of Famer 7-foot-2 center Wilt Chamberlain. Russell said many times he loved the competition going up against Chamberlain. Their matchup was considered the greatest rivalry ever in NBA history. Chamberlain also looked forward to going up against Russell. In Chamberlain's rookie season he averaged 37.6 points per game with the Philadelphia Warriors. Chamberlain and Russell during their 142 career meetings Chamberlain averaged 28.7 rebounds per game to Russell's 23.7 rebounds per game. And 28.7 points per game to Russell's 14.5. Chamberlain said Russell played for the greatest team ever, and will never forget their moments in games back then.
In college, Russell made an impact for the University of San Francisco. He was a two-time All-American, and winning two consecutive NCAA championships. He led San Francisco to 55 straight wins. He also won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.
Russell says in a prior interview one of his greatest accomplishments was getting the Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2011, the nations' highest civilian honor. He also was awarded teh NBA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Back in the 1960's Russell along with Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stood up for civil rights for blacks. He was outspoken during when Ali was suspended from boxing due to him refusing to serve the military during the Vietnam War. Russell participated in the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights.
Russell became the first black player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975 and in 1980 he was voted the Greatest Player ever in the history of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America.
In Oct. of 2021 Russell was named as one of the 75th Anniversary team and in 2013, the city of Boston honored him with a statue at City Hall Plaza.
Legendary NBA Hall of Famer, and 6-time NBA champion Michael Jordan offered his prayers and condolences to Russell's family.
"Bill Russell was a pioneer, as a player, as a champion, and as an activist. 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 condolence to his family and may he rest in peace."