His 11 rings is the most championships by any athlete in any major North American Professional sport. His rebounding and blocking skills are legendary, and his reign as five-time MVP and 12-time First All-NBA team are proof of his greatness. All of those accolades belong to the great Celtic Bill Russell. What he did for the Celtics franchise has yet to be matched since he retired in 1969 (Larry Bird is one of the closest), and today he got something that's been long overdue: a statue.
The monument, which was raised in Boston's City Hall, isn't just for his achievements on the court. Russell was known for his activism, including during the black power movement. He also is noted for breaking racial barriers in the NBA. Under the guidance of great head coach Red Auerbach, Russell became the NBA's first black superstar and later its first black coach. Let's not forget receiving that Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama either.
But at the center of his legend was that will to win. It wasn't about the personal accolades or statistics. This is something Russell noted in his speech at the Boston ceremony: “I played a team game and only important statistic was who won the game." The game was never truly just about buckets.
[via Pro Basketball Talk]