Boston Celtics legend and 11-time NBA Champion Bill Russell passed away on Sunday. He was 88 years old. His family announced the tragic news of his death. Read on to know how did Bill Russell die and what was his cause of death
Russell was a 5-time NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star. He was the first player to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NBA Championship, and a college title. He won 11 NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics and was voted the greatest player in NBA history by basketball writers in 1980.
His legendary career also includes a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Russel was also the first Black head coach in the NBA or any major U.S. sport.
Moreover, Russel marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., supported Muhammad Ali, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President Barack Obama. He was an extremely honorable man with achievements both on and off the track.
How did Bill Russell Die?
Bill Russell, an NBA legend who led Boston Celtics to a record 11 championships, is no more. He died a natural death on Sunday at the age of 88 years. He was widely considered one of the greatest ‘ballers of all time.
Russell’s family announced his death in a statement via Twitter. The tweet states he “passed away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side.” Ever since the news emerged, fans and the NBA communities have been paying tributes to the gone legend.
An announcement… pic.twitter.com/KMJ7pG4R5Z— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) July 31, 2022
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated Russell “stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect, and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league.”
What was the cause of Bill Russell’s death?
The news of Bill Russell’s death came from his family via Twitter. However, they didn’t reveal an exact cause of death. It’s noted that Russell died a natural death due to old age. He was 88 at the time of his death.
Four years ago, Russell was hospitalized for dehydration and then recovered soon. At that time, it was revealed that he also has heart issues related to old age and some problems with breathing. It’s speculated that these became the ultimate cause of his demise.
He was hospitalized four years ago and was given a dehydration diagnosis. He was reportedly having heart issues and having problems breathing at …
Bill Russell had a decorated career on and off-field
Bill Russell was born on February 12, 1934, as William Felton Russell. He was an American professional basketball player who served as a center for the Boston Celtics in NBA. In a glorious career spanning over 13 years, he led the side to the championship a record 11 times.
He was also the NBA MVP five times and a 12-time NBA All-Star. He had also led the San Francisco Dons to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. Along with that, he also captained the U.S. national basketball team to a gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
The Louisiana native also had a mammoth contribution as a Black athlete in a city and country where race is often complicated. He was at the March on Washington in 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
He also stood for Muhammad Ali when the boxer was pilloried for refusing induction into the military draft. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Russell the Medal of Freedom. “Bill Russell, the man, is someone who stood up for the rights and dignity of all men,” Obama stated at the ceremony.
In 1975, Russell refused to attend his Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He finally accepted the honorable ring in 2019 where he revealed that it was because he didn’t want to be the first Black player inducted. A statue of Russell was unveiled on Boston’s City Hall Plaza in 2013.
The NBA Universe paying tributes to the legend Bill Russell
The fans and the NBA universe have been paying tributes to the gone legend, Bill Russell. There are countless tributes celebrating the legendary career of the man who played a key role in the American sports history revolution.
The Celtics said in a statement, “To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was.”
“Bill Russell’s DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of team rewards over individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights off the court. Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn his passing and celebrate his enormous legacy in basketball, Boston, and beyond.”
Another NBA legend and an all-time great Michael Jordan said in a statement, “Bill Russell was a pioneer — as a player, as a champion, as the NBA’s first Black head coach 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 condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.”
“as tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far higher — both as a player and as a person,” said former President Barack Obama. The President Biden also called Russell a “towering champion for freedom, equality, and justice.”
These are only some of the highly said words for Russell. He will be remembered forever in this world. May God let him rest in peace. Our support go out to his family in the tough time.
this article originally posted on BareillyCollege.org