What Boston Celtics Hall of Fame big man Bill Russell did on the basketball court is unparalleled in the history of sport, winning 11 NBA championships while helping to integrate the sports as part of the first all-Black starting five in league history, its first Black superstar, and first Black head coach among countless accolades.
But it is easy to lose the activism, mentorship, and life experience of the man in lauding the player, and perhaps more than anyone in NBA history, those things were inseparable. Russell was a monumental human being who answered the call for justice at what might have been great personal expense and at great risk, and it would be a disservice to who he was to elevate his identity as a basketball player above the rest of what made him so special.
With that in mind, the hosts of the CLNS Media “Celtics Lab” podcast linked up with the New York Times’ Sopan Deb to talk with him about Russell’s legacy as a person and an activist, and how his uncompromising perspective has shaped the wider world of today far beyond the NBA.
Join Justin Quinn, Alex Goldberg, and Cameron Tabatabaie as they remember the Russell that inspired them in more ways than the story 11 rings can tell as we memorialize not only an NBA and Celtics great, but one of the most important figures of the last century.
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