I'm old enough that I remember watching Russell play with the Celtics on a black-and-white TV back in the mid-60's.
incredible defensive player and rebounder. for his career avg 15 pts, 22.5 reb and 4.3 assists. averaged over 20 reb/gm for 10 consecutive years. had 51 rebounds in a single game in 1960 vs the Syracuse Nationals.
his battles with Wilt Chamberlain were legendary.
I know the game has changed a lot since then, but those Celtics teams were true 'teams.'
Later on, Russell did some TV work as a color man and he was funny. great sense of humor with this high-pitched laugh.
and a civil rights pioneer who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was in Boston last weekend and spent Friday afternoon checking out the sites along the Freedom Trail. Wound up having lunch with my mother at Faneuil Hall. Got her in a cab back to the hotel, while I made my way to Fenway Park for my 2nd Red Sox game of the trip.
Boston City Hall is where I picked up the subway, and I happened upon the Bill Russell statue and did gaze upon it. I did wonder how he was doing, last interview I saw him on was the Golf Channel Feherty show a few years ago.
Public artist Ann Hirsch says the statue represents Russell as an athlete, player-coach, and human rights and civil rights activist.
By Sunday afternoon I was on the Cape for a family reunion. I took a break from the beach and turned on NESN for Sox game when the news of his passing broke. Pretty emotional to see the crowd reaction and moment of silence. For several innings the game was sort of an afterthought as they were showing highlight clips and interviews. They also brought Bob Ryan into the booth for historical perspective. Very moving.