Bill Russell

The death of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell is giant loss.

For those of us old enough to remember his heroics on the basketball court – and his heroics in life, Russell represented about the best in professional athletes and human beings on and off the court.

He didn’t put up with racism. He always spoke out. He was bitter about how he was treated in Boston for many years before he became a sports God.

Russell was about as good as a professional athlete could be in the time he played.

He has been voted the greatest player in professional basketball history.

We’re not sure what Michael Jordan or Lebron James would have to say about that.

Intellectually, Russell towered above all the rest playing during his time.

He wasn’t one to suffer the thoughts of fools.

He didn’t indulge in self congratulation.

He spoke out at a time when others remained quiet.

He was a superstar like no other.

His death is reminder to those of us who watched him play, who cheered at his heroic exploits, who appreciated his outspokenness and his bitterness about being treated like a second class citizen because he was Black, that he was always true to himself.

He was a champion through and through.

We shall not see his likes again.

Bill Russell was a giant of a man – and a great, great American who always stood for what was just and right.

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