Barack Obama and Michael Jordan .. Honor multiplies after the death of Bill Russell “The Giant”

The death of Bill Russell, the man who won 11 titles in 13 seasons as an NBA player, is clearly a very severe blow to the NBA world. Especially since the former Celtics hub was much more than just a basketball player.

Since his death was announced, the tribute has multiplied in the basketball world and beyond.

“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of collegiate sports. The countless accolades he has received during his historic career with the Boston Celtics – including 11 titles and five MVP titles – only scratch the surface of Bill’s enormous impact on our league and the community at large.

Bale championed something far greater than sport: the values ​​of equality, respect and inclusion that he engraved in the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bell vigorously advocated for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed on to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Despite taunts, threats, and unimaginable adversity, Bell rose above all else by staying true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. » Adam Silver.

Today we lost a giant. As great as Bill Russell was, his legacy reaches a much higher level – as a player and as a person.

Bill probably knew better than anyone what it takes to win and what it takes to lead. On the court, he was the greatest champion in basketball history. Off the field, he was a civil rights pioneer, walking with Dr. King and siding with Muhammad Ali. » Barack Obama.

America’s promise is that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated the same throughout our lives. We haven’t fully implemented that promise, but Bill Russell made sure we never deviated from it.

By August 1963, he had won six of his eleven NBA titles during his thirteen years in the league with the Boston Celtics, a career that would include five best regular-season titles, an Olympic gold and the status of the first black coach in a. Major sports leagues in America.

But on that historic day August 28, 1963, there was, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a great champion of liberty, equality, and justice, as Dr. King fulfilled his dream for the nation.

It was Bill Russell. From his childhood in secluded Louisiana to his career on the sport’s biggest stage at the height of the civil rights movement, Bell has faced the hostility and hatred of racism ingrained in every aspect of American life. Yet he never gave up. Throughout his life, he has forced us to face hard facts. On this day, generations of Americans are reflecting on what he meant to them as someone who championed the basic truth that everyone 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, a good man and a great American who did everything in his power to fulfill America’s promise to all Americans. » Joe Biden.

“Being the greatest champion in his sport, simultaneously revolutionizing the way the game is played and being a community leader seems unimaginable, but that’s what Bill Russell was. Bill was a unique champion 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 first black coach in the NBA. Boston Celtics.

“Rest in peace Bill Russell, you have been everything we aspire to, and your winning soul will live forever my friend. Thank you for your wise words. Isaiah Thomas.

He was one of the first mathematicians to put himself on the front lines of social justice, equity, equality and civil rights. That’s why I like it and love it so much. During our friendship, he always reminded me of the need to make things better within the black community. » Magic Johnson.

“Bill Russell was a pioneer – both as a player and champion, as the first black NBA coach and activist. He paved the way and set an example for all black players who entered the league after him, myself included. The world has lost a legend…Rest in peace.” Michael Jordan.

“People like Bill are a bridge to the entire struggle this generation has had to get through. If everyone could take a little bit of what Bill Russell did during his life, we’d be in a better place. The things he did with Karim and Jim Brown and everything he did to promote equality. They were the first to He did it, even if something had to be given up, just like Muhammad Ali.” Diana Torassi.

Bill Russell’s legacy will be eternal. He was an incredible force, as an athlete and as a human being. His smile and manner was magnetic. The 11 championship titles he won confirm that he was the ultimate winner. But his greatest achievement was the six decades he spent tirelessly fighting for civil rights and social change. It really made the world a better place.” Greg Popovich.

“Bill Russell was the essence of ‘The Big Man’. Not by his size but by the size of his heart. In basketball, he showed us how to play with grace and passion. In life, he showed us how to live with joy and mercy. He was my friend, my mentor, my role model. Bye my friend.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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