Sports: Barack Obama, basketball world react to the death of Celtics great, NBA pioneer Bill Russell

Bill Russell, Legendary Basketball Player and Coach, Dies at 88

  Bill Russell, Legendary Basketball Player and Coach, Dies at 88 NBA's legendary 11-time champion Bill Russell died Saturday, it was announced on his official Twitter account. He was 88. Russell holds the record for the most championships won by any player in NBA history and is tied with Montreal Canadiens hockey star Henri Richard for the most won by any athlete in a North American sports league. Russell won all 11 of his championship rings with the Boston Celtics between 1957 and 1969, including eight consecutive between 1959 and 1966. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1975 and again as a coach in 2021.

The NBA world is paying respects to NBA legend Bill Russell, who died on Sunday at the age of 88.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell takes part in the © Jack Plunkett, AP Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell takes part in the "Sports and Race: Leveling the Playing Field" panel during the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas in 2014.

Russell's death was announced on his Twitter account on Sunday afternoon, with a statement reading he "passed away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side."

"Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – only begin to tell the story of Bill’s immense impact on our league and broader society.

Bill Russell, NBA great and Celtics legend, dies at 88

  Bill Russell, NBA great and Celtics legend, dies at 88 BOSTON (AP) — Bill Russell, the NBA great who anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years — the last two as the first Black head coach in any major U.S. sport — and marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., died Sunday. He was 88. His family posted the news on social media, saying Russell died with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. The statement did not give the cause of death. “Bill's wife, Jeannine, andHis family posted the news on social media, saying Russell died with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. The statement did not give the cause of death.

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"Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever," the statement read.

NBA players past and present, as well as other prominent sports figures, shared their condolences on social media and praised Russell for his contributions to basketball.

Contributing: Kaleb Anderson

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Barack Obama, basketball world react to the death of Celtics great, NBA pioneer Bill Russell

Bill Russell: NBA pulls jersey number from traffic-as a tribute to dead player legend .
, a unique step for a unique player: For the first time in NBA history, a jersey number is no longer allocated in the league. It is one of several actions that honor the late Bill Russell. © Bill Chaplis/ dpa After the death of the American basketball legend Bill Russell, the NBA does not want to award its jersey number six in the future.

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