A Basekball icon who made his presence know by playing Defense…..
Russell, who propelled the Celtics to 11 N.B.A. championships, the final two when he became the first Black head coach in a major American sports league, died on Sunday. He was 88.
His death was announced by his family, who did not say where he died.
When Russell was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, Red Auerbach, who orchestrated his arrival as a Celtic and coached him on nine championship teams, called him “the single most devastating force in the history of the game.”
He was not alone in that view: In a 1980 poll of basketball writers (long before Michael Jordan and LeBron James entered the scene), Russell was voted nothing less than the greatest player in N.B.A. history.
Former Senator Bill Bradley, who faced Russell with the Knicks in the 1960s, viewed him as “the smartest player ever to play the game and the epitome of a team leader.”….