Bill Russell passes away

Christopher Walsh

Staff member
I had the chance to meet Bill once. Special man.

Here’s the lede from the SI article …

Among the six million Black people who moved out of the Deep South from 1916 to 1970, the “Great Migration” chronicled by Isabel Wilkerson in The Warmth of Other Suns, were the parents of Huey Newton, who would go on to head the Black Panther party, and the parents of Jimi Hendrix, who would go on to set his electric guitar, and the rock world, on fire.

There was, too, a revolutionary of a different stripe who emerged from that African American diaspora—the gangly son of Charles and Katie Russell, a couple who left Monroe, La., for Oakland in 1943. That was William Felton Russell, who learned his basketball chops on the Oakland playgrounds, refined them at the University of San Francisco and perfected them with the Boston Celtics.

Bill Russell died Sunday at age 88 from age-related causes, his impact on the game was so profound that the NBA Finals MVP trophy is named in his honor.