Boston Celtics: A tribute to Bill Russell, a legendary champion

Boston Celtics Bill Russell (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Bill Russell (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics‘ family received some horrible news today. Longtime Celtic Bill Russell passed away today at the age of 88. He was said to have passed away peacefully, with his wife by his side.

A lot of former and current Celtics weighed in on just how much Russell meant to them and the Boston Celtics organization. Among those who had kind words to say were current Celtic Jaylen Brown, and former Celtic Paul Pierce.

There are many things that we all can say about Bill Russell. To some, he transcended the Boston Celtics and their tradition. To others, he was a hero.

Whatever way you want to look at him, we’ll always remember Bill Russell as a legend in Celtics lore.

Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics championships

The Boston Celtics were a powerhouse from 1957 until 1970. They won 11 championships during that 13 season span. Imagine how difficult that must’ve been! The only man that was a part of every single one of those championships was Bill Russell. Russell had a way of dominating the game both offensively and defensively.

In a span of 963 NBA regular season games, Bill Russell averaged 15 points and 22 rebounds per game for the Boston Celtics. Let me say that second part for you again. He averaged 22 rebounds per game! When do we see that in the NBA anymore? Spoiler alert, we don’t!

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But if you think that isn’t impressive, check this stat out. Russell averaged 16 points and 25 rebounds per game during his playoff career. It may not seem like much of an increase. But it is when you’re playing the best players in the league in a short amount of time. He could teach guys like Kevin Durant a thing or two.

The Boston Celtics had a pioneer in Bill Russell

Russell helped accomplish a lot during his time in the NBA. Besides the championships, he was the first black NBA coach. He responded to that feat by winning his last two championships with the Celtics in the role of a player coach.

That’s a testament to just how well Russell knew the game of basketball. He set the example for black players coming into the league. There wasn’t a lot that Russell couldn’t do during his tenure as an NBA player/head coach.

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The bottom line is that the world lost a legend today. Bill Russell was one of the best NBA players of all-time. Some might even say that he was the best player ever, before Michael Jordan came along and did his thing with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. He was a friend to so many people and was loved by many others.

Celtics fans will always be appreciative of what Russell did for the organization and the NBA itself. So rest in peace to the legend that is Bill Russell. We will never forget the impact you had on the game of basketball and the world as a whole.