Bill Russell: Skip, Broussard remember NBA, national icon

Former Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell died Sunday, and FOX Sports’ Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Skip Bayless paid their respects to the Hall of Famer. 

Broussard marveled at Russell’s championship pedigree.

“He’s the greatest winner in American sports history, period,” Broussard said. “There’s not even a discussion. This is not a LeBron-Michael Jordan debate. It’s no debate. Eleven championships is more than any other American athlete in our three major sports has won, and the fact that he did it in 13 years is just astounding. If somebody did that today, we’d be naming cities after them.”

Russell played 13 seasons in the NBA, corralling 11 championships in the process. He finished his NBA career averaging 15.1 points and 22.5 rebounds per game. Russell was a 12-time NBA All-Star and a five-time NBA MVP. Before playing in the NBA, he played three seasons at the University of San Francisco, where he won two national championships.

Bill Russell, NBA legend with 11 Titles, 5 MVPs, dies at 88 | FIRST THINGS FIRST

Bill Russell, NBA legend with 11 Titles, 5 MVPs, dies at 88 | FIRST THINGS FIRST

Chris Broussard remembers Bill Russell, who passed away yesterday at the age of 88.

Russell also served as a player-coach for the Celtics from 1966-69.

Wright views Russell as a “living legend” both on and off the floor.

“He was a true living legend and a true hero off the court, which almost, rightfully, overshadowed the fact that when I do the silly ‘best player arguments’ and the ’50 best of the last 50 years’ one of the reasons my list is the last 50 years is because if you start the argument with anyone other than the guy who won the 11 championships as the best ever, you kind of start to be like ‘wait, what’s the point of the whole thing, then?” Wright said. “He’s almost a victim of his own dominance, and it was a life, 10 lifetimes well-lived.”

Bayless views Russell as a truly authentic person.

“He was going to stand up and he was going to be Bill Russell, whether you liked it or not,” Bayless said. “He was true as true could be to what he was, and, in the end, he had such integrity about what he believed, and that’s the beauty of him. Again, he wasn’t trying to be a crusader: he just was.”

Russell was 88.

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