NBA legend Bill Russell died at age 88 on Sunday with his wife by his side, according to a statement released by his family.
The defensive genius played center for the Boston Celtics, earning the NBA MVP award five times, and was also a 12-time NBA All-Star, among many more accomplishments.
Russell is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, holding numerous records utilizing his long arm span as a defensive savant.
Many of his records hold decades later, including having the second in all-time total rebounds.
He was one of the first Black superstars in the NBA and used his platform to champion the civil rights movement.
Several tributes have poured in for the NBA star as another iconic actress Nichelle Nichols’s death was also announced today.
Bill Russell’s death announcement pays tribute to his remarkable life
A statement released on the late great Bill Russell’s official social media accounts announced that he died with his wife by his side.
“Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully today aged 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side,” the statement says, adding that memorial details are on the way.
“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-meal-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, the statement reads, continuing to acknowledge his numerous accomplishment throughout his life.
The basketball star couldn’t ignore the racial discrimination and boycotted a 1961 Celtics exhibition game.
According to the statement, he also helped lead Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp after civil rights icon Medgar Evans was assassinated.
In 2010, Bill Russell’s greatness on and off the basketball court was acknowledged when then-President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.
Fans share their memories and pay tribute to Bill Russell
Several tributes poured in for Bill Russell as fans remember the NBA legend.
A fan shared a video of the Boston Celtics icon and Kobe Bryant paying respect to each other.
Russell was known for his sense of humor, as fans share a hilarious moment, he decided to give Charles Barkley the middle finger.
The Chicago Bull’s official Twitter page shared a photo of the late basketball star with his fan Michael Jordan.
Another Twitter user shared the horrific racial abuse the Celtics star suffered while winning rings during his remarkable career.
Another hilarious moment of Russell on stage was shared to cheer up fans mourning his death.
Many shared the iconic photo of Russell posing with many of his championship rings.
Bill Russell is remembered as one of the greatest NBA players, a pioneer, and a humanitarian.