Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from joel49. Show joel49's posts

    Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2011/02/16/president_says_its_time_for_hub_to_honor_celtics_great_russell/

    Congratulations to a truly special human being.  How fortunate I feel to have gotten to watch him play during the fifties and sixties.  Hopefully, this will get that statue jump started.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CelticFanLA. Show CelticFanLA's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Bill Russell statue is long over due!!!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from notaliberal1. Show notaliberal1's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Bill Russell turned me into a lifelong Basketball fan at the teder age of ten in 1959. In my mind he is at least as important in Boston sports lore as Bobby Orr or Ted Williams who collectively helped secure less than one tenth the championships in their respective sports as Russell did in his. He deserves to be honored prominately in Boston. I suspect that if not for Russell there would be no statue of Red Auerbach in Quincy Market.  
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from RajonRondowski. Show RajonRondowski's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Just so people know more exactly what Bill Russell is all about and the experiences that formed him, I copied and linked to some information widely known by those old enough or  inquiring enough to be astute students of the NBA, so I gleaned these paragraphs from Yahoo that I believe are quite accurate and quite relevant at this time.

    "His fierce pride (which the media called "a bad attitude") mixed about as well with Boston fans as a John Ashcroft sing along at the Apollo Theater. The result was that the greatest player in Boston team sports history was the target of a constant campaign of racial harassment.

    When Russell tried to move from his home in the Boston suburb of Reading to a new home across town, neighbors filed a petition trying to block the move. When that failed, other neighbors banded together to try to purchase the home that Russell wanted to buy, said Tom Heinsohn, a close friend of Russell's who played with him from 1956 to 1964.

    Once, vandals broke into Russell's home and defecated on his bed. Heinsohn said two white sportswriters from Boston told him they wouldn't vote Russell the league's most valuable player because he was Black."

    "Russell also felt a deep desire to resist racism. Once in Marion, Indiana, he had been given the key to the city only to be refused service that evening in his hotel's dining room. Russell went to the mayor's home, woke him up, and returned the key."

    "During the 1950s and 1960s Boston was treated to the most successful run in the history of team sports with the NBA's Celtics winning 11 championships in 13 seasons. The mainstay of that team was a player of immense skill, unselfishness, and leadership: Bill Russell. Russell won five MVPs to go with his 11 rings.

    In 1967 he became the first African American coach of a pro team. In 1974 he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1980 the country's basketball sports writers voted him "The Greatest Player in the History of the NBA."

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101211212821AAVuCN0
     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from susan250. Show susan250's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    In Response to Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom:
    [QUOTE]http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2011/02/16/president_says_its_time_for_hub_to_honor_celtics_great_russell/ Congratulations to a truly special human being.  How fortunate I feel to have gotten to watch him play during the fifties and sixties.  Hopefully, this will get that statue jump started.
    Posted by joel49[/QUOTE]

    I would imagine that many Celtics fans wish they had seen him play.  Very well deserved honor. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from CablesWyndBairn. Show CablesWyndBairn's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    The Celtics ownership should absolutely push for a statue of Russell somewhere in the vicinity of the Garden to complement the Orr sculpture.  There is room in Boston for a 3rd statue outside of Orr and Red.       
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from charliedarling. Show charliedarling's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    the boston celtics SHOULD pay for this statue and not even blink once at whatever the financial costs may be.

    if finding a place for such a statue is an excuse for it not being completed immediately the city of boston should be embarrassed.  


     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Number6Fan. Show Number6Fan's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    By my lights, still the greatest player in the history of the NBA.

    Statue should be across from the State House in the vicinity of the Robert Gould Shaw memorial frieze.

    But I still think they should rename the Garden after him. :-)
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from champs08. Show champs08's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Had the chance a few years ago to meet Mr. Russell at a book-signing. He was animated, friendly, and still has that laugh that is one of a kind. We spoke for a couple minutes about the balloons in the LA Forum rafters during the last playoff game in 1969. Since the Celtics won, they didn't come down at the end! Russell's last game!

    Bill Russell helped this young man see where we needed to go with race relations way back in the day. The Medal of Honor is well-deserved! Thank you, Bill, for for helping us find the best in us.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from potging. Show potging's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    celtics pride....
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from RUWorthy. Show RUWorthy's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    In Response to Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom:
    [QUOTE]Just so people know more exactly what Bill Russell is all about and the experiences that formed him, I copied and linked to some information widely known by those old enough or  inquiring enough to be astute students of the NBA, so I gleaned these paragraphs from Yahoo that I believe are quite accurate and quite relevant at this time. "His fierce pride (which the media called "a bad attitude") mixed about as well with Boston fans as a John Ashcroft sing along at the Apollo Theater. The result was that the greatest player in Boston team sports history was the target of a constant campaign of racial harassment. When Russell tried to move from his home in the Boston suburb of Reading to a new home across town, neighbors filed a petition trying to block the move. When that failed, other neighbors banded together to try to purchase the home that Russell wanted to buy, said Tom Heinsohn , a close friend of Russell's who played with him from 1956 to 1964. Once, vandals broke into Russell's home and defecated on his bed. Heinsohn said two white sportswriters from Boston told him they wouldn't vote Russell the league's most valuable player because he was Black." "Russell also felt a deep desire to resist racism. Once in Marion, Indiana, he had been given the key to the city only to be refused service that evening in his hotel's dining room. Russell went to the mayor's home, woke him up, and returned the key." "During the 1950s and 1960s Boston was treated to the most successful run in the history of team sports with the NBA's Celtics winning 11 championships in 13 seasons. The mainstay of that team was a player of immense skill, unselfishness, and leadership: Bill Russell . Russell won five MVPs to go with his 11 rings. In 1967 he became the first African American coach of a pro team. In 1974 he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame , and in 1980 the country's basketball sports writers voted him "The Greatest Player in the History of the NBA." http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101211212821AAVuCN0
    Posted by RajonRondowski[/QUOTE]


    It's a worry when you read about how Russell and African Americans were treated not all that long ago. Those people who broke into Russells house and defecated were so low committing that act. Makes me feel ill just thinking about it. It's had not to use stronger language when I think about people like that.

    I can see why he had some of the attitudes he held against people. I'm sure if I had the same things happen to me I'd have been the same.

    Those sportswriters don't even deserve that title if they felt that way about Russell. It's cliche, but he was the MVP every year he was in the league. Can't believe he only won the award five times.

    Good on Tom Heinsohm and the other guys in the team who would also have had to grow as people when the league and society in sports started to slowly change for the better.

    All of you should try to track down a copy of Bill Russells book "Second Wind". It's by far the best sport book I've read. You learn so much about him, both good and bad. But you appreciate him as a man. Really does debunk a lot of the myth.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    I absolutely love Bill Russell. I wish I could have seen him play. It's good to see him being recognized in this way.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    "When he was a young man, Russell accepted no hatred, no bigotry. As an elder man, he celebrated his 77th birthday Saturday, he is a shining example of pride, perseverance and excellence in his field."

    http://www.patriotledger.com/sports/pros/x938336387/Bill-Russell-Symbol-of-excellence
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from vertmont. Show vertmont's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Statue: YES.
    One of the greatest athletes in any sports history. The best players ever to play in the NBA. No comparision to any other NBA player. Number 6 should be reitired in the NBA. Honor this man for what he stands for and his accomplishments he meant to pro sports and the NBA. A will deserved award from the president. Thank you Bill Russell for being Bill Russell you are a true sports icon.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ATJ. Show ATJ's posts

    Re: Bill Russell honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Seeing so many other Bill Russell fans post here really put a smile on my face.  Number 6 was my idle growing up and I still consider him the greatest player ever to step on a basketball court.  I was and remain truly fortuntate to have actually seen him play. Fast, athletic, intense, uncompromising, he turned defense in general and the blocked shot in particular into an art form.  11 championships in 13 years, 2 as player/coach, he has to be the greatest winner ever in any team sport.

    Thanks guys for posting this.

    Thanks, Bill, for the memories.
     

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