ESPN – (WBAP/KLIF) Boston Celtics great Bill Russell has died peacefully with family at his side Sunday.
From ESPN: “Over a 15-year period, beginning with his junior year at the University of San Francisco, Russell had the most remarkable career of any player in the history of team sports. At USF, he was a two time All-American, won two straight NCAA championships and led the team to 55 consecutive wins. And he won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.
During his 13 years in Boston, he carried the Celtics to the NBA Finals 12 times, winning the championship 11 times. The one year the Celtics lost, in 1958 to the St. Louis Hawks, the series was tied 2-2 when Russell got hurt and was hospitalized. The Celtics lost the next two games by a total of three points.
A five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star, Russell was an uncanny shot blocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. He finished with 21,620 career rebounds — an average of 22.5 per game — and led the league in rebounding four times. He had 51 rebounds in one game, 49 in two others and 12 straight seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds. Russell also averaged 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game over his career.
Until Michael Jordan’s exploits in the 1990s, Russell was considered by many as the greatest player in NBA history.
Russell was awarded the Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2011, the nation’s highest civilian honor. And in 2017, the NBA awarded him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.”
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