Bill Russell, Boston Celtics legend and 11-time NBA champion, dies at 88.
The Hall of Famer Bill Russell, the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 titles total and eight consecutive championships, passed away on Sunday, At the age of 88. Let’s see what happened, How did Bill Russell die, and his cause of death.
According to a message on social media, Russell passed away “peacefully” with his wife, Jeannine, at his side. The announcement stated that details on his memorial service would shortly be released.
Bill Russell, an NBA legend who led the Boston Celtics to a record 11 championships and is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died on Sunday. He was 88.
Russell’s family announced his death in a statement, saying he died peacefully with his wife Jeannine by his side. The family did not disclose a cause of death.
Bill Russell’s Cause of Death is a normal death.
The 6’10” former center dominated the NBA as a defensive and rebounding force over his 13-year career, winning five Most Valuable Player awards and becoming a 12-time all-star between 1956 to 1969. He also coached the Celtics over the last three years of his playing career, leading the team to two more titles on top of the nine he secured as a player. He was the first Black head coach in the league.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Russell “stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league.”
“For nearly 35 years since Bill completed his trailblazing career as the league’s first Black head coach, we were fortunate to see him at every major NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP,” Silver said in a statement Sunday. “Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever.”
Russell’s family also pointed to his long record of activism and social justice, saying his “understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life.”
The statement reads,
It is with a very heavy heart we would like to pass along to all of Bill’s friends, fans, & followers:
Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. Arrangements for his memorial service will be announced soon.
Bill’s two state championships in high school offered a glimmer of the incomparable run of pure team accomplishment to come: twice an NCAA champion; captain of a gold-medal-winning US Olympic team; 11 times an NBA champion, and at the helm for two NBA championships as the first black head coach of any North American professional sports team.
Along the way, Bill earned a string of individual awards that stands unprecedented as it went unmentioned by him. In 2009, the award for the NBA Finals most valuable player was renamed after twotime Hall of Famer as the “Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award”
But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life. From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to unmask too-long-tolerated discrimination, to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp in the combustible wake of Medgar Evans’ assassination, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change.
Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded. And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified and always constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.