Tag:Bill Russell
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 4:07 pm
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

Posted by Ben Golliver    

Barack Obama says Michael Jordan is the GOAT. (Getty Images)

Sure, gasoline is $14 a gallon and North Korea and Iran are in a race to see who can be first to end humanity as we know it. But it's all good, because United States President Barack Obama got the correct answer when asked the world's most important question: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?

During a podcast interview with ESPN.com, Obama didn't hesitate in making his selection: legendary Chicago Bulls guard and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

"You've got to go with Jordan," Obama said.

Point for point, Obama hit on all the major arguments in Jordan's favor: rings, passion, skill, clutch ability, marketing impact and swagger.

"You've got guys who are comparable in terms of talent," Obama said. "I think LeBron [James] is as talented as Michael is. You've got guys like [Larry] Bird or Magic [Johnson] who had that same will to win. But combining that package and then just always being there at the moment. Very rarely not hitting that shot. Like, Utah at the end... And the grace with which he played. There was a charisma to him on the court. You could not not watch him. Unbelievable."

Obama, a senator from Illinois before he became president and a big-time Bulls fan, was asked whether his selection was influenced by those factors.

"That's an NBA pick [and not a Chicago pick]. You never had a combination of talent and fierce will to win and longevity and rising to the occasion. I haven't seen it."

Since Jordan retired, the "Greatest of All Time" question has never been anything more than a two-player debate: Jordan or Boston Celtics center Bill Russell. No one else comes close when it comes to rings, individual accomplishments and overall dominance of their era. Jordan is the right choice, given his global impact and command over a larger, better, smarter league.

But Russell doesn't go home empty-handed. After all, Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom back in Feb. 2011.

"Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball," Obama said in a White House statement at the time. "Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times.  The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality."
Posted on: May 4, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Bill Russell statue to be built in Boston

Celtics Hall of Fame center Bill Russell will be honored with a statue in Boston. Posted by Ben Golliver.
bill-russel

It's been quite the year of awards for legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell. Back in February, Russell was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. On Wednesday, the Celtics announced that Russell will be honored with a statue in his likeness in Boston.
The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation in partnership with the newly formed Bill Russell Legacy Committee announced today they will erect a statue of Bill Russell in the city of Boston designed by a local artist. In commemoration of Russell’s accomplishments as the greatest champion in the history of professional sports, as a national leader in human rights and as a dedicated advocate for youth mentoring, the Bill Russell Legacy Project will also develop a Mentoring Grant program in Russell’s name to ensure his passion is carried on by expanding the resources for mentoring programs in the city of Boston.
“I am uncomfortable with honors such as this but my years as Captain of the Boston Celtics were the proudest moments of my career,” Boston Celtics Legend Bill Russell said. “Mayor Menino’s Boston has proven to be a City that embraces the diverse contributions of all its people and neighborhoods. I am thankful to the Celtics and all the contributors for the effort to create such a wonderful Mentoring program.”
Boston.com notes that other sports legends have been honored with statues and that Obama was one of Russell's advocates.
Many of Boston's sports legends, including Bobby Orr, Ted Williams, Red Auerbach, Doug Flutie and Harry Agganis, all have statues.
"I hope that one day in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man," Obama said.
Russell is regarded as basketball's all-time greatest champion, winning 11 NBA titles during his playing career, a gold medal with Team USA and two NCAA titles at the University of San Francisco. In addition to his five MVP awards, he was named to the All-Star team 12 times.

A lasting monument to Russell in the city of Boston has been the subject of much talk among media and fans in recent months. Honestly, you could build an entire Easter Island full of Bill Russell statues and it still wouldn't fully commemorate his contributions to the game of basketball and to the Celtics. 

Look for a Shaquille O'Neal statue to be erected next to the Russell statue in the year 20never.
Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Barack Obama awards Bill Russell Medal of Freedom

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Posted by Ben Golliver.
bill-russell-back-obama

President Barack Obama awarded legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award. The Medal of Freedom recognizes men and women who have "made an especially meritorious contribution to (1), the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

The White House issued the following statement regarding Russell's honor.
Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball.  Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times.  The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.
Russell told the New York Times that the award was the second greatest honor of his life.
“When he was about 77, my father and I were talking,” Russell answered. “And he said: ‘You know, you’re all grown up now, and I want to tell you something. You know, I am very proud of the way you turned out as my son, and I’m proud of you as a father.’ 
“My father is my hero, O.K., and I cannot perceive of anything topping that,” Russell continued, his voice becoming husky. This being the mature Bill Russell, born on Lincoln’s birthday in 1934, he saw fit to add, “While I am very, very flattered by this honor.”
Russell is regarded as basketball's all-time greatest champion, winning 11 NBA titles during his playing career, a gold medal with Team USA and two NCAA titles at the University of San Francisco. In addition to his five MVP awards, he was named to the All-Star team 12 times. Russell also served as a player/coach and, after he retired, as a head coach for the Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings.

Also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama were President George H.W. Bush, Maya Angelou, Yo-Yo Ma and Stan Musial, among others.
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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