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NBA reacts to Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s death


Bill Russell was an 11-time NBA champion whose impact went far beyond the basketball court as he fought for civil rights and social justice.

Bill Russell, the NBA great who anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years — the last two as the primary Black head coach in any major U.S. sport — and marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., died Sunday. He was 88.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release that Russell was “the best champion in all of team sports.”

An announcement… pic.twitter.com/KMJ7pG4R5Z

— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) July 31, 2022

Current and past NBA players in addition to others in and across the game shared their thoughts on his death.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the next statement today regarding the passing of Bill Russell: pic.twitter.com/DGX6ukOT4b

— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 31, 2022

A press release from Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan on the passing of NBA legend Bill Russell. pic.twitter.com/RdYcnuCrmb

— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) July 31, 2022

My thoughts about Bill Russell passing away…. I’m working on an deeper thought upsetting article tonight as I process what just happened. pic.twitter.com/M69pXNkaC0

— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) August 1, 2022

Charles Barkley’s statement regarding the passing of Bill Russell pic.twitter.com/kVwqnBchzO

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 31, 2022

Thanks for paving the way in which. You shall be missed legend. @RealBillRussell pic.twitter.com/obvwkMDCCc

— SHAQ (@SHAQ) July 31, 2022

Today, we lost an enormous.

As tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far higher—each as a player and as an individual.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 31, 2022

“I used to be drafted by Bill Russell. My first NBA coach was Bill Russell.”@TheJetOnTNT reflects on his relationship with the NBA Legend pic.twitter.com/DwMF6InCer

— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 31, 2022

A champion who revolutionized the sport for all of us. Bill Russell was an inspiration to me in so some ways. May he Rest in Power.

— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) July 31, 2022

Thanks for the whole lot! R.I.P Legend 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/tn2iGsArav

— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) July 31, 2022

I’ll always remember today we was like kids sitting around a camp fire listening to your stories pic.twitter.com/ZX3DDPRAwt

— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 31, 2022

Rest in peace to an absolute LEGEND https://t.co/QwSHnWZraP

— Antoine Walker (@WalkerAntoine8) July 31, 2022

So very sad to listen to about Bill Russell today. He set the usual – on and off the court. RIP to an all-time winner, teammate and person. 🙏🙏 https://t.co/OIzUn8aLwG

— Brad Stevens (@BCCoachStevens) July 31, 2022

My hero. My friend. What a hole we’ve got now. 🙏🏾 🐐 pic.twitter.com/NQlIO7hk8k

— Cedric Maxwell (@cedricmaxwell81) July 31, 2022

RIP to the Legend Bill Russell

— James Harden (@JHarden13) July 31, 2022

I’m heartbroken to listen to in regards to the passing of the best winner the sport of basketball has ever seen, a legend, hall of famer, mentor and my friend for over 30 years, Bill Russell. 💔 pic.twitter.com/iiSkVq2kdn

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 31, 2022

Bill Russell was my idol. I looked as much as him on the court and off. His success on the court was undeniable; he was dominate and great, winning 11 NBA championships. Off the court, Bill Russell paved the way in which for guys like me. pic.twitter.com/ZMIrEx8Tne

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 31, 2022

He was considered one of the primary athletes on the front line fighting for social justice, equity, equality, and civil rights. That’s why I admired and loved him a lot. Over the course of our friendship, he at all times jogged my memory about making things higher within the Black community. pic.twitter.com/K73adpaWZ4

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 31, 2022

Bill Russell was essentially the most powerful ambassador of the NBA. I held him in the best regard and tried to construct on the groundwork laid by him and his generation of players. Thanks, Bill, for leading the way in which and giving us such a high bar to shoot at.

— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) July 31, 2022

Rest in peace Bill Russell you were the whole lot all of us aspired to be, your winning spirit will live eternally my friend. Thanks on your words of wisdom. pic.twitter.com/rBjFS6nhzW

— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) July 31, 2022

Unapologetically himself in any respect times!! The final word leader and just happened to be the most effective hoopers ever! RIP Mr Russell, you shall be dearly missed 🙏🏾🕊 pic.twitter.com/30xXhoGXsj

— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 31, 2022

Was an absolute honor to spend time with #BillRussell. He was a walking encyclopedia. I remember him quoting once – “Basketball is what I do for a living, nevertheless it’s not necessarily who I’m.” His legacy will NEVER be forgotten! pic.twitter.com/5jBrMuxDn8

— James Worthy (@JamesWorthy42) August 1, 2022

Rest In Heaven, Mr. 11 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/zOqckOFNVK

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 31, 2022

Steve Kerr on the life and legacy of Bill Russell. pic.twitter.com/5nT5kiFI3r

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 31, 2022

Coach Pop on the passing of NBA legend Bill Russell. pic.twitter.com/89IrDvmIqO

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 31, 2022

“The influence he had on those he was so close with is impressive, however the impact he had on so many individuals all over the place is famous.” pic.twitter.com/U5aFPlsLdj

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) August 1, 2022

Thanks for paving the way in which @RealBillRussell 🙏🏾#Legends never die 🕊

11x Ring King #Salute #BillRussell 🙏🏾
Get your rest 🕊 pic.twitter.com/YVih5GD3Rc

— GARY PAYTON (@GaryPayton) August 1, 2022

So sad to lose a friend broadcasting partner and considered one of the best players within the history of the NBA. RIP Bill Russell @ESPNNBA @NBA @NBAonTNT @NBAOfficial @NBATV @celtics @NBAcom @NBAalumni @TheNBPA

— Rick Barry (@Rick24Barry) July 31, 2022

What a legend! #HugeRespect 🙏 https://t.co/t246k2if4R

— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) July 31, 2022

Rest In Peace Legend! 🙏🏽😞❤️ https://t.co/VhjGoIM8Ff

— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) July 31, 2022

Bill was my idol growing up, to satisfy & work with him in 1986 for the Goodwill Games, was a thrill!That was the beginning of a 34 yr friendship. We were Inducted into the FIBA HOF together, & I loved listening to his stories. My heart goes out to his wife Jeannine. PEACE my friend- pic.twitter.com/JTfaepMZWR

— Ann Meyers Drysdale (@AnnMeyers) July 31, 2022

I’m considering these two met up already today and are having an epic reunion. pic.twitter.com/QKjeDRVJbL

— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) July 31, 2022

R.I.P to the legend Bill Russell. 🤴🏿💫

— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 31, 2022

Rest well, Bill Russell: considered one of the best on the court, a humanitarian, and a gracious human. My condolences and prayers to his family. pic.twitter.com/v2aHm5x4yt

— Harrison Barnes (@hbarnes) July 31, 2022

One of the dominant players in @NBA History. An 11 times NBA Champion and the most effective to have ever done it.

I’ll eternally be honored to have met you. Thanks for the whole lot you might have given to the sport and all of us. Rest in peace, @RealBillRussell. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/HOouLIrXWv

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 31, 2022

You continually served as an inspiration on and off the court, leaving an impact on the sport in addition to the community.

Rest In Peace Bill Russell. Eternally a legend🕊

— T Mac (@Tmac_213) July 31, 2022

The NBA family just learned this afternoon that Bill Russell, the 11-time champion and Hall of Fame icon of the Boston Celtics, who used that fame to further the civil rights cause in the USA throughout the turbulent Nineteen Sixties, has died on the age of 88. He shall be missed💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/DA4R70Wjps

— Dikembe Mutombo (@officialmutombo) July 31, 2022

RIP to the Legend Bill Russell

— Darius Garland (@dariusgarland22) July 31, 2022

Bill Russell was a treasure as a player, coach and particularly as a human being. @Lakers and @celtics fans can agree on this today. 😔💜💚😔 https://t.co/TTDfp9w8Zq

— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) July 31, 2022

Rest Easy Bill🤎🙏🏾 🐐A lifetime of fighting, standing and winning✊🏾 but most of all caring for our community &ppl‼️ My Deepest condolences to his wife, family, friends and our whole basketball community🙏🏾 I’ll eternally remember your smile, laugh&larger than life personality❤️🕊 https://t.co/nATzFIWOOr

— Swin Money (@SwinCash) July 31, 2022

A real legend on and off the court. RIP Bill Russell 🕊

— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) July 31, 2022

The Great Bill Russell has at all times been my basketball idol.
Not because he won 11 NBA championships and 5 MVPs.
It was mainly for his stand for civil rights and social justice.
We’ve got lost an amazing one.
I can remember my first time meeting him and being like a nervous (1/1)

— Alex English (@AlexEnglish_2) July 31, 2022

It is a teary-eyed Sunday knowing that we lost a legendary human being @RealBillRussell His dedication to civil-rights, human-rights and the game of basketball puts him beyond legendary status. That smile shall be missed. pic.twitter.com/fmZSmFVkqp

— Robert Horry (@RKHorry) July 31, 2022

RIP Bill Russell. A legend in every sense of the word, on and off the ground🙏🏽

— Tyrese Haliburton (@TyHaliburton22) July 31, 2022

12 time @NBA All-Star
11 NBA rings
5 MVPs
No 3-point line
No social media
Just played and dominated in a day and a league that was def not soft. @celtics to the core ☘️
RIP @RealBillRussell 😢 #LEGENDARY pic.twitter.com/mG7K1AOfQq

— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) July 31, 2022

❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/Wr1EZWxtF3

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 31, 2022

Bill Russell 🙏🏾🧖🏾‍♂️🏀🥇🏆

You’re loved, appreciated, honored,true pioneer , the best overall for all you stood for. Stood against and the doors that now fly open for us is a results of your Journey. May God Bless your loved ones. And should the angels rejoice!!! thanks Legend

— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) July 31, 2022

Our world lost an amazing man today.


11 time NBA Champion Bill Russell🍀❤️

— Tyrone Muggsy Bogues (@MuggsyBogues) July 31, 2022

Today we lost considered one of the true Pillars & Giants of our game. Rest In Paradise 🕊… #billrussell pic.twitter.com/WBE2VuuYct

— Carlos Boozer (@MisterCBooz) July 31, 2022

🙏🏾 a full life . https://t.co/XPap7DrORL

— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) July 31, 2022

R.I.P 🕊🕊🕊 https://t.co/0WQL8cTjIE

— Goran Dragić (@Goran_Dragic) July 31, 2022

RIP to the Great Bill Russell! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

— Quentin Richardson (@QRich) July 31, 2022

11X NBA CHAMPION. Rest easy 🐐

— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 31, 2022

RIP BILL RUSSELL pic.twitter.com/vzhaIQG2ZH

— Eric Gordon (@TheofficialEG10) July 31, 2022

Thanks for all you probably did for us and this game. Thanks for paving the way in which. Respect and Love at all times. Rest in Paradise. 🙏🏿🕊🐐. https://t.co/BglOLLohHI

— Victor Oladipo (@VicOladipo) July 31, 2022

RIP to the legend🙏🏽 https://t.co/K6DJBNCyBD

— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) July 31, 2022

💔 R.I.P legend 🙏🏻 🐐 https://t.co/x5aCpkXPtg

— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) July 31, 2022

RIP Legend 🙏🏽🕯 pic.twitter.com/xe0Lr7kxcC

— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) July 31, 2022

Rattling Rest Easy OG! NEVER FORGOTTEN! 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 https://t.co/1FdpgDY4cl

— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) July 31, 2022

RIP pic.twitter.com/kStyLyDDGF

— Charles Oakley (@CharlesOakley34) July 31, 2022

The true #GOAT #RIP #LEGEND 🙏🏽 https://t.co/s3HCcGKYDX

— Greg Anthony (@GregAnthony50) July 31, 2022

Rick Welts on the passing of Bill Russell pic.twitter.com/VftdgmSLTV

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 31, 2022

“That is considered one of my proudest moments in basketball, because I made up my mind early in my profession, the one essential statistic in basketball is the ultimate rating.”

– Bill Russell on the ’09 All-Star Game in Phoenix after announced the NBA Finals MVP Award could be named in his honor pic.twitter.com/d4bNDEECRm

— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 31, 2022

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